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September 18, 2000
China grabs gold, Bindra places 11th in shooting
China's Cai Yalin won his country's second shooting gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
In the process, he set an Olympic record in the process in the men's 10-metre air rifle final this morning.
Indian teenage shooter Abhinav Bindra shot 590 out of a possible 600 to share 11th spot in the qualifying rounds with three others. Yalin Cai topped the qualifiers with 594, while Anatoly Klimenkov of Belarus placed second with 593.
A total of 47 competitors participated in the preliminary round.
In the final, Cai totalled 696.4 to claim gold, and the new Olympic Record, while Russian shooters Artem Khadjibekov and Evgueni Aleinikov claiming silver and bronze respectively.
Anatoly Klimenko of Belarus, holder of the Olympic record going into the final, who in the qualifying round had placed second, remained the number two till the last three rounds, but then faltered to be overtaken by the Russians.
Cai, however, led start to finish, and had no problem blitzing the field. A perfect 10 with his first shot gave him the lead, and barring a 9.8 in the second shot, Cai consistently scored 10s to take the top slot.
In the qualifiers, Cai scored 99s in his first four shots, then a 100 in his last shot. Bindra, in contrast, had scores of 98, 99, 98, 97 and 100. That 97 in his fourth shot hurt his chances of qualifying for the final shootout, as the difference between the four shooters placed 11th, and the two placed 9th, was just one.
To understand that performance, it needs keeping in mind that the top qualifiers consistently scored 98s, with at least one 99 and one 100 in their five tries.
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