Gold on the range for solid South Koreans

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 24, 2014 3:34 AM

By Peter Rutherford

INCHEON South Korea (Reuters) - Na Yoon-kyung credited solid South Korean teamwork for their unexpected gold medal in the 50 meter rifle prone event on Wednesday and said favorites China had succumb to the pressure of the Asian Games final.

Na, a silver medalist in the rifle three positions team event in Guangzhou and Doha, finally got her hands on Asian Games gold in Incheon and hoped one day she could also get the chance to compete in the event at the Olympics.

"I wish this event could become an official sport at the Olympic Games so that we could have more chances to get a medal," Na told Reuters in an interview at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range.

China have already won 10 shooting golds in Incheon but were unable to keep a cool head when it mattered most on Wednesday.

"The Chinese are also a very strong team but the pressure got to them at the Asian Games," added Na, who teamed up with Eum Bitna and Jeong Mi-ra to win gold.

"But we were able to handle the pressure. That's why the team won here in Incheon and in Guangzhou (in 2010)."

Na, who was not a part of the prone team four years ago, had not shot particularly well in the individual event and said her form had been a worry.

"I thought I might cause problems for our team," she added. "But I didn't give up and focused shot by shot. I think that's how I was able to get a gold medal.

"I'm so pleased to get the gold, because I didn't expect it at all."

Jeong agreed that being able to depend on her team mates when the heat was on had made all the difference in the final.

"We are all from different teams but come together to represent South Korea, that's why we can stay ahead in the game even if we're in trouble. That's our strong point."

It was a day on the range to savor for South Korea as they also took gold in the 25m rapid fire pistol events.

Kim Jun-hong took the individual title after combining with Song Jong-ho and Jang Dae-kyu to win the team event, giving hosts South Korea six shooting golds overall.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)