Wednesday, August 13, 2008

US Soldier Strikes Gold In Beijing

Glenn Eller of the United States won the gold medal in double trap shooting Tuesday, building a solid lead during qualifying and then hitting 45 of 50 targets in the final round. Eller set an Olympic record with a total score of 190 - and also with a qualifying score of 145. Francesco D'Aniello of Italy won the silver, and Hu Binyuan of China took the bronze. Eller led by four shots entering the final, meaning a 47 would have clinched the gold even if every other competitor shot perfectly. Eller missed the first two targets of the final, but recovered quickly. He clinched the gold by hitting both targets in the next-to-last pair, then turned and immediately pumped his fist.
Army Spc. Glenn Eller listens to the national anthem during the medal ceremony after winning the gold in the men's double trap final at the Beijing Olympics.
Eller, a Texas native, is a three-time Olympian. He finished 15th in 2000 and 17th in 2004. At 26, he was the youngest of the six finalists this year. The final round included past Olympic champions Russell Mark of Australia and Richard Faulds of Britain. Jeff Holguin of the United States finished fourth. Afterward, Holguin immediately went over to congratulate the victor. Eller, a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, won the first American gold in Beijing in shooting, a Chinese strength. D'Aniello and Binyuan shot the best final rounds, hitting 46 targets each. D'Aniello and Binyuan finished with total scores of 187 and 184.

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