Italy’s Campriani became the most successful Olympic rifle shooter ever, as claimed today’s 50m Rifle 3 Position Men brightest medal, his second Rio 2016 gold, and his third Olympic title since London 2012.
Niccolò Campriani of Italy became the only shooter to win two gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games, as he successfully defended the 50m Rifle 3 Position Men title he had won in London four years ago, on the last Shooting sport day of Rio 2016.
Campriani climbed atop of the podium in spite of a disappointing 9.2-point last shots, as Russia’s Sergey Kamenskiy closed his match with an 8.3 landing himself in second.
The Italian shooter totalized 458.8 points, to Kamenskiy’s 458.5. Kamenskiy would have needed just an 8.7 to win his first Olympic gold.
France’s Alexis Raynaud – a 21-year old first-time Olympian ranked 43rd in the world - took Bronze with 448.4 points.
“This medal is a gift,” Campriani said. “I made it to the final in last with the lowest qualification score among the eight finalists (1174-62x, ed.). That’s why I truly believe that Kamenskiy is the best shooter of the day. But this is the game. This is the beauty of the game, if you want. I am happy that I made it.”
“It isn’t true that you need no emotions to win a medal in this sport. I am Italian, I am Mediterranean, I am full of emotions. The key is to learn how to deal with emotions. And it’s really hard out there, competing in an Olympic final!”
28-year old Campriani had won the 50m rifle 3 positions’ gold and the 10m air rifle silver in London.
Here in Rio, he secured both the air rifle and the rifle 3 positions titles, becoming the most successful Olympic rifle shooter of all times: nobody else won 3 individual rifle shooting gold in the 120-year Olympic history of the sport.
What’s coming in next?
“Maybe I will quit,” Campriani shockingly said. “I have been in the sport for 16 years. I believe sport is a tool to become a better person. Now I know that I am good at shooting, and we only have one life, so I want to find out what else I am good at. I will take a final decision in the next months. I need some time to cool down.”
Sergey Kamenskiy (28) followed Campriani securing silver at his first Olympic participation. At the end of the final, he finished in the spotlights for that last shot. An 8.3 that costed him the victory.
“The last shot is a lottery,” he commented.
“Honestly, it was very hard to start the final and get out there, I had to fight with the feeling of uncertainly. It was difficult to fight that stress.”
“Maybe I did not perform perfectly, but I am happy with what I did. I succeeded, silver is still a medal. It’s just amazing to be here, sharing this stage with these great athletes.”