Shooting: Klees shoots Germany to first gold

OLYMPIC GAMES
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The Independent Online
Christian Klees of Germany set a world-record score of 704.8 points yesterday to win the gold medal in the men's 50-metre free rifle prone shooting event. It was Germany's first gold medal of the Atlanta Games, following a flurry of silver and bronzes. Sergei Beliaev of Kazakhstan won the silver with 703.3 while the bronze went to Jozef Gonci of Slovakia with 701.9.

Klees, 28, did not score lower than a 10.3 in his 10 shots in the finals. His total, including a world-record equalling perfect score of 600 in the preliminary round, broke the previous mark of 703.5 by Jens Harskov of Denmark in 1991.

In free rifle prone, athletes lie on their stomachs and shoot .22 calibre rifles at bull's-eye targets 50 metres away. The target's centre is 10.4mm wide - smaller than a thumbnail.

"I can't quite believe it," the ecstatic Klees said. "I train just as much as Boris Becker, but earn less."

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