China's Guo defends Olympic pistol title on final shot

China's Guo Wenjun showed nerves of steel as she came from behind on the very last shot to successfully defend her 10m air pistol Olympic title in thrilling fashion here on Sunday.

With her final effort, Guo shot a 10.8, just 0.1 points short of a maximum score, drawing gasps from the packed crowd at the Royal Artillery Barracks and overhauling France's Celine Goberville, who had led going into the last round.

Goberville could only manage 8.8, putting her level on points with Athens 2004 gold-medallist Olena Kostevych of Ukraine.

In a shoot-off, Goberville recovered from her disappointment at missing gold and secured silver.

Ice-cool Guo, 28, who said her motto was, "Never give up", maintained she always felt she had a chance of gold going into the final shot -- even though she was trailing by 0.5 points.

"I just focused on doing my best on the final shot," she said, adding: "I think everyone is good, I just never give up."

Guo said she put a poor eighth shot out of her mind as the competition reached its nail-biting climax, adding: "It was done. I just couldn't keep thinking about it."

The Chinese crack shot, who topped the earlier qualifying round, lost ground after the first shot of the final when she only managed a score of 8.0.

And as the rain thundered onto the roof of the temporary building that houses the competition, the pressure built, with neither athlete able to forge a decisive lead, leading to the dramatic climax.

Guo finished with a total score of 488.1, 1.5 points ahead of Goberville.

Goberville said she was proud to win France's first medal of the Games and was not disappointed to miss out on gold by such a slender margin.

"I didn't think about winning a medal. I've had a good season but these are my first Olympic Games and for me I thought the podium was not reachable," she said.

"Before the last shot I tried not to look at what was happening in the rankings but I had to and it didn't disturb me. The last shot, I can't explain why I missed it. It's not because it was the last shot."

Guo's win marks the second shooting gold of the Games for China, who finished top of the shooting medals table in Beijing in 2008.

The top eight competitors from the qualification round reach the final, shooting a further 10 shots -- each fired individually under timed conditions -- and the scores are added together to determine the winner.

China's Guo Wenjun takes aim in the women's 10m air pistol event during the London 2012 Olympics on July 29. Guo showed nerves of steel as she came from behind on the very last shot to successfully defend her 10m air pistol Olympic title in thrilling fashion on Sunday.

Chinese shooter Guo Wenjun (centre), winner of the women's 10m Air Pistol at the London 2012 Olympic Games, celebrates along with silver medalist France's Celine Goberville (left) and bronze medalist Ukranian Olena Kostevych (right) in London on July 29. Guo showed nerves of steel as she came from behind on the very last shot to successfully defend her Olympic title in thrilling fashion on Sunday.

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