Nobody had ever won three Olympic gold medals back to back in the history of the sport. And nobody has ever won four individual shooting sport gold medals as he did. But there’s more to come, he says.
Jin Jongoh of the Republic of Korea made history today, winning his third consecutive 50m Pistol Men Olympic Gold back to back, becoming the most successful shooter in the history of the sport. And nobody had ever won four individual Olympic gold in the history of the sport, which is part of the Olympic program since he very first edition in 1896.
Jin, 36, claimed the title in an extraordinary fashion, at the end of a spine-chilling final match, today. The Korean athlete started off the final as the favorite, but a frustrating 6.6 fired on his ninth final shot landed him in last place, 5.2 points behind the leader Kim of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
But the champion did not give up. Nailing a series of exceptional shots, he climbed up the scoreboard, position after position, pocketing the brightest medal with 193.7 points, setting the new Olympic record.
With his last four shots, Jin beat Vietnam’s Hoang Xuan Vinh, who secured Silver with 191.3 points, and the Democratic’s People’s Republic of Korea’s Kim Song Guk, who landed in third with 172.8 points after leading through first part of the final.
“I can’t describe how happy I feel, this is my third Gold medal back to back in this event, something which had never happened before in the history of the sport,” said Jin after the medal ceremony.
“When I shot that 6.6 I thought I was done. But I told to myself: never give up! You never know what’s going to happen. And indeed something very special has happened: I climbed back to the top.”
“There was so much pressure on me, this has definitely been the most difficult Olympic edition of my career: everybody was expecting me to perform well,” Jin continued.
“After finishing in 5th at the 10m Air Pistol Men final four days ago, I was totally upset. I had prepared a precise hour-by-hour schedule before coming here to Rio: when to eat, when to sleep, checklists and so on. After the air pistol final, I trashed that piece of paper and I just followed my instinct, trying to release. Luckily that worked well for me.”
Jin has already won four Olympic Gold, two Olympic silver, two ISSF World Championships and two Asian Championship titles, as well as three World Cup Final titles since 2004. But, apparently there is more to come.
“I have no plans to retire. Many people tell me this would be the right moment, but shooting is my sport, it’s something I love, it’s my passion. I won’t quit, this is my life.”
“Today’s result made history, but I don’t want to think about that right now. I just want to enjoy this moment, and spend some time with my family. This is a great day.”
Viernam’s Hoang Xuan Vinh, 41, wrote another piece of Olympic history, today. Until the 6th of August, his country had never won an Olympic gold medal. He marked the record by claiming the air pistol men title four days ago, and he added a new milestone today by winning Silver, the third Olympic medal ever of Vietnam.
He was followed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Kim Song Guk, who won bronze at his first Olympic participation, in spite of being ranked 67th in the world in this event.
“It is only gold that matters. I didn't do as well as expected. It is my first Olympics and I feel I am not up to standard yet," he said after the match, clearly upset. “If I train harder, I think I will do better.”