Fri, 22 Oct 2021

TOKYO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Javad Foroughi triumphed in the men's 10m air pistol to win Iran's first gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games here on Saturday.

The 41-year-old enjoyed a 4.2-point advantage before the final shot and safely bagged the gold with 244.8 points.

Winning golds from two World Cup stops in the lead up the Tokyo, the Olympic debutant noted: "This is the most important gold since it is the first for shooting in my country."

In fact, Foroughi only started professional training in 2017 and continued his work as a nurse in a hospital. His training was severely disrupted by the closure of training centers due to the pandemic and his own infection of COVID, but all the hard work after night shifts finally made him a proud Olympic champion.

"As a shooter I worked a lot in the last two years. I am happy to achieve success," Foroughi said.

Four-time Olympian Damir Mikec of Serbia claimed the silver with 237.9 points, which is the first Olympic medal for the 37-year-old.

Hugging his team in excitement after the competition, Mikec admitted, "we aren't supposed to do that now."

"But the emotions were stronger than anything else. That was the only medal I was missing in my career. I can say now that my heart is somehow full," he added.

China's 2008 Olympic champion Pang Wei got 217.6 points to add another bronze to his collection following a third place finish in Rio five years ago. Winning three medals from four Olympic Games, Pang became the most decorated athletes in the event after compatriot Wang Yifu, who had two golds and two silvers to his name.

"I'm very happy. This medal is reward for my efforts in the past few years," said Pang, who did not resume trainings after Rio until 2019.

The 35-year-old has yet to finish his fourth Olympic journey with newly-introduced 10m air rifle mix team event on July 27.

Germany's Christian Reitz, world record holder and Rio gold medalist in 25m rapid fire pistol, edged the other Chinese shooter Zhang Bowen in shoot-off for a fifth place finish.

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