First Gold Medal awarded at London 2012 Olympics

Day 1: London 2012 Olympics Well it was a lovely sunny day for the spectators and competitors of Women’s 10m Air Rifle and Men’s 10m Pistol. Having attended the ISSF London World Cup back in April it was clear today how much hard work the LOCOG team have put in. The venue looked amazing with its brightly coloured branding, electric atmosphere and brass band playing to keep the crowds entertained. Most would agree that the shooting rarely gets any media attention here in the UK, today however the first gold medal of the games was going to be presented. The venue was packed in fact it was so busy officials restricted entry into the qualification halls. The qualification of the Women’s 10m Air Rifle was unlike any normal shooting event. The crowd were in high spirits and extremely loud. This did seem to distract most of the shooters, however GB shooter Jen McIntosh soon realised the home crowd were cheering for her. Every time the young 21 year old scored a 10 the crowd roared with glee. Jen acknowledged the support by turning and waving at the crowd. The qualifications were tough with 5 ladies entering into a shoot off for the remaining 4 final places. The finalist were Yu , Li , Emmons, Bogacka, Gray, Ahmadi, Scherer, Vdovina. The finals hall had an energetic atmosphere helped by Wenlock and the commentator getting the crowd to cheer along to the shooters. There wasn’t a spare seat in the hall and it became very clear the tickets to the final had been oversold with many tickets holders unable to get in. Bogacka started extremely strong but it was Yi from China who won London’s first gold, the Chinese flag was being waved with pride as they not only took gold but bronze too. The silver medal was awarded to Bogacka from Poland. This afternoon saw the men take the podium in the 10m Air Pistol event. Yet again the 10m shooting hall was full with staff working a one out one in policy. Many shooters started strong but it seemed the nerves got the better of them, with many experienced Olympians failing to make it to the final. Beijing’s gold and silver medallists Pang and Jin did make it safely through to give the crowds a nail biting final. Jin looked extremely strong with a large point’s difference but things started to change after shot 6 when the shooters went from scoring high ten’s to 9’s with the exception of Italian shooter Tesconi who had the highest final. The gold was awarded to Korea’s Jin Jon Oh, Silver to Tesconi and the Bronze to Zlatic of Serbia.