Croatia's army officer Glasnovic marches to trap gold

AFP , Monday 8 Aug 2016

Josip Glasnovic
Gold medallist Croatia's Josip Glasnovic celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's trap shooting event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August 8, 2016. (AFP)

Croatian army officer Josip Glasnovic won a tense shoot-off to secure men's trap gold at the Rio Olympics on Monday, then disclosed his winning secret - 'keep it simple'.

The 33-year-old from Zagreb, tied at 13-13 in the title match against Italian Giovannni Peliello, held his nerve to claim the sudden-death phase 4-3.

"I just focus on the target, keep it simple," he explained when asked how he kept his hands from trembling with tension.

"I shoot very well, very concentrated. I give all the best," he added.

Somerset farmer Edward Ling finished third for Britain, outpointing David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic 13/9 in the bronze medal match.

For 46-year-old Peliello this was his third silver medal finish after Beijing and Athens, not forgetting a bronze in Sydney.

The man who beat him four years ago, Giovanni Cernogoraz, failed to make it out of qualifying, finishing ninth with only the top six progressing.

The 2004 champion Alexey Alipov missed out by one spot but Beijing winner Kostelecky did squeak through in fifth place.

Peliello had topped the qualifying sheets.

Glasnovic cruised through the semi-finals to the gold medal match with a perfect 15 out of 15 score. Peliello only failed to hit the bright orange target once en route to the climax.

There, Glasnovic blinked first, missing his sixth effort, but then Peliello failed to connect with his next two shots.

With Glasnovic adding a second miss the two shooters were tied at 13-13, requiring a shoot-off to determine the outcome at the Deodoro range.

The winner said he was spurred on by the support he received from the stands.

Even though he once again missed out on the title Pellielo meanwhile was savouring silver.

"It's special because it arrives at 46 years old," he smiled.

On the shoot-out he reflected: "This is like the 'golden goal'. I missed only one target, so I got very close to it and things are like this."

He added: "Each time that I go on a podium, it's very important and each time it is different than the previous one."

He refused to countenance hanging up his shotgun before another tilt at Olympic glory in four years time in Tokyo.

"If I am alive, I will go on. I will compete."

Third-placed Ling said he'd felt like "jelly" with nerves.

"But I'm really, really pleased with the outcome," he said, before mapping out his plans for the immediate future.

"It's just been nail-biting, it really has. It's a dream come true. I never thought this day would come.

"But now I'll go home, help on the farm, just do what I did."

Except this time, he has a bronze Olympic medal round his neck.

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