Anna Korakaki held her nerve to win the 25 metres pistol shooting title August 9 and claim Greece’s first Olympic gold medal in any sport since they hosted the Games 12 years ago.
Korakaki, who was only 10 during Athens 2004, had already taken a 10m air pistol bronze medal here at Rio 2016 before producing a day of consistently strong performances at the Olympic Shooting Centre.
She qualified second and then led the way through the semi-finals with 19 points.
The best was still yet to come, however, as she moved 6-0 ahead of German opponent Monika Karsch after a flawless opening three sets.
Drama followed as Karsch fought back to 6-6, only for Korakaki to keep her composure and win the seventh set “sudden death” by hitting the target with her final shot.
“Right now I can’t describe it,” she said.
“I can’t find the words in Greek, French or English.
“I cannot describe [it].”
“We had it tied six to six, so the next five shots were crucial – maybe I was more lucky.”
Greece won six gold medals on home turf in Athens but their Olympic fortunes have since mirrored their economic problems.
They won just two silver and two bronze medals in Beijing in 2008 before winning two bronzes at London 2012.
Korakaki also became the first Greek female athlete to win two medals in a single Games.
The last Greek man to achieve this feat with standing long and high jumper Kostas Tsiklitiras at Stockholm in 1912.
Switzerland’s Heidi Diethelm Gerber claimed the bronze medal after beating Zhang Jingjing of China, 8-4.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz