The Malta Independent on Sunday

Reitz’s gold in rapid fire pistol gives Germany 3 in 3 days


Christian Reitz was thrilled to watch his teammates win Olympic gold the previous two days, hoping he could keep Germany's shooting string going.

But whatever they did before was going to have no impact on his final. Reitz still had to shoot well on his own, regardless of what momentum his country might have.

Reitz did just that, extending Germany's shooting gold medal streak to three days.

Reitz hit 34 of 40 targets, including all five on his final turn, to capture gold in the men's 25meter rapid fire pistol yesterday at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Jean Quiquampoi­x of France earned silver and Li Yuehong of China captured bronze.

"It's good for the other shooters and medals for us," Reitz said. "It's maybe a little bit easier, but the fight against me in the competitio­n is the same."

Reitz earned a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games and followed with a sixth-place finish in London.

He was one of the favorites heading into Rio after run of strong finishes in World Cup events, including a victory in Azerbaijan in June. The current world-record holder had strong qualifying sessions, setting an Olympic record with 596 targets over two stages.

Reitz opened the first competitio­n stage by hitting all five targets in four seconds, but began having trouble hitting the second target as the competitio­n progressed.

Reitz still managed to move atop the standings after the fifth round of five shots and closed out gold by hitting his final five targets. Knowing Quiquampoi­x could not catch him on his final series, Reitz removed his headphones and glasses, then pumped his fist at his coach.

Reitz's gold continues Germany's domination in rapid fire pistol at the Olympics. Behind Ralf Schumann, considered his country's greatest shooter, Germany has won four gold medals and six overall in the event since 1992 Barcelona Games.

That's a gold and a bronze for the 29-year-old Reitz, putting him in position to follow in the foot- steps of Schumann. He still has a long way to go, though; Shumann won three golds and two silvers in rapid fire.

"Maybe. We'll see in the future," said Reitz, who works for the German police force.

The 20-year-old Quiquampoi­x reached the final round after a three-round shoot-off with Li. Both shooters hit 27 shots in the final and eight of 10 in the first two rounds of the shoot-off. Quiquampoi­x moved on after hitting four to Li's three in the third round.

Quiquampoi­x needed Reitz to falter on his final series, but the German hit all five. Quiquampoi­x hit four to capture France's first shooting medal of the Rio Games.

"It represents a lot of sacrifices for myself and for my family, so this medal represents a lot to all of us," Quiquampoi­x said through an interprete­r.

Defending Olympic gold medalist Leuris Pupo of Cuba finished fifth after hitting 18 of 25 targets, and top-ranked Zhang Fusheng of China finished fourth after hitting one target on his sixth series.

 ??  ?? Christian Reintz during yesterday’srapid fire pistol final
Christian Reintz during yesterday’srapid fire pistol final

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