Artur Ayvazian Of Ukraine Wins Gold In Men's 50-Meter Prone Rifle

BEIJING, China -- Artur Ayvazian of Ukraine won the gold medal in the men's 50-meter prone rifle Friday, holding off American Matt Emmons in the final round at the Beijing Olympics.

Gold medallist Artur Ayvazian of Ukraine celebrating after the men's 50-meter rifle prone final shooting competition Friday.

Ayvazian was the top qualifier with 599 points. Emmons, who won the event in Athens four years ago, was two points behind. Ayvazian scored at least 10 points on each of his 10 shots in the final, making it difficult for Emmons to catch up.

Ayvazian finished with a score of 702.7. Emmons finished at 701.7 for the silver. Warren Potent of Australia took the bronze.

It was the second gold in less than 24 hours for Ukraine, which won a team title in women's saber fencing Thursday night. Ayvazian dedicated the medal to a former coach who died in 2002.

"It is the greatest success I have ever had," the 35-year-old Ayvazian said. "I have participated in the Olympics three times and I have done a lot of preparation work."

Emmons won the gold in prone rifle in 2004 and blew a gold in three-position rifle that year when he fired at the wrong target on the final shot.

"I'm extremely, extremely satisfied with the competition, with the performance," Emmons said. "Ayvazian just had a great match. All you can do is shake the man's hand when he just shoots a better match than you do."

Source: International Herald Tribune