Olympic fever now officially on high as the first medals were handed out Saturday. Columbus State rifle coach Jaime Gray just missing a medal but still with an impressive showing. Gray made it to the finals but finished 5th in the 10 meter air rifle competition.
She along with American Sarah Scherer, who finished 7th, marked the second time the U.S. has advanced two shooters to finals. The gold medal went to Yi Siling of China, who staged a comeback to win with a score of 502.9. Sylwia Bogacka of Poland took the silver with a 502.2, while Yu Dan of China won the bronze with a 501.5. Reigning Olympic champion Katie Emmons of the Czech Republic found herself in a hole, edging into the final by a mere 0.2 points, then rallied but fell short, finishing fourth with a 500.3.
Gray posted a score of 499.7, while Scherer had a 499.0. It marked only the second time the U.S. has advanced two shooters to the final in the event. Just to make it into the final eight competitors required grit and determination after Gray and Scherer were among five competitors finishing with a 397 out of 400 that required a five-shot shoot-off for the final four places remaining in the final. Gray finished second in that shoot off to put her in sixth position overall, while Scherer was third best and came into her first Olympic final in seventh position.
Gray's fifth place finish is one spot back from where she finished in Beijing. She now turns her attention to the 50 meter position Three-Position Rifle on August 4th.
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.