Slovakia Wins First Ever Medal; Germany Captures Two Gold
ATLANTA (AP) _ Bill Roy is a fighter pilot who has taught English literature and Sunday school. His next mission: an Olympic medal.
The Air Force major stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, begins his quest today for a medal in skeet shooting. He is the national champion in the event.
The top six shooters from two rounds of qualifying advance to Saturday’s finals. Finals were scheduled today in women’s 25-meter sport pistol and men’s 10-meter running target.
Roy, 37, holds a Master’s degree in English literature from North Carolina and taught American literature at the Air Force Academy. He currently is an instructor pilot at Holloman in the AT-38.
Germany, Slovakia and the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan were the big winners in Thursday’s competition at the Wolf Creek Shooting Complex.
Germany won two golds and Slovakia _ which declared its independence from Czechoslovakia in 1993 _ won its first ever Olympic medal. Kazakhstan captured a silver and a bronze.
Germany’s Christian Klees won the gold medal in the 50-meter free rifle event with a world-record score of 704.8 points. Teammate Ralf Schumann defended his title in the 25-meter rapid fire pistol finals, giving Germany its first two golds of these games.
Jozef Gonci of Slovakia won the bronze in free rifle and Sergey Beliaev of Kazakhstan the silver.
``I will show it to everybody who wants to see it,″ Gonci said. ``I am very proud because it will become part of my country’s history.″
Gonci’s coach, Anton Belak, said ``this is a very important day for all Slovak sports.″
Schumann, who holds the world-record score of 699.7 in the rapid fire pistol, scored an Olympic record 698. Emil Milev of Bulgaria took the silver (692.1) and Vladimir Vokhmyanin of Kazakhstan the bronze (691.5).
Schumann held a six point lead over Milev going into the finals, where the athletes shoot two series of five shots at five adjacent targets with a 4-inch-wide bullseye.
Asked if he thought he could catch Schumann, Milev contemplated for a moment. ``There is always a chance, but no, I was there to keep my second place,″ he said.
Klees did not score lower than a 10.3 in his 10 shots in the finals. His total, including a world record-tying perfect score of 600 in the preliminary round, broke the previous mark of 703.5 by Jens Harskov of Denmark in 1991.
Sergey Beliaev of Kazakhstan took the silver with 703.3, and Gonci scored 701.9.
American Bill Meek, 43 of Upland, Calif., was fifth going into the finals and finished eighth.
In rapid fire pistol, four-time Olympian John McNally of Columbus, Ga., finished in a tie for 12th in the qualifying round and Roger Mar of Seattle, Wash., was 18th.