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Emmons Aims, Claims Gold in 50-Meter Rifle

Saturday, August 21, 2004; Page D14

It would have been understandable if Matt Emmons had a bad first Olympic experience. The way things had been going, he seemed destined for that.

First, someone vandalized his good gun in April. Then, while preparing for the men's 50-meter prone rifle event, he caught a bad cold. Before yesterday's final, his heart was beating so fast he didn't know if he could calm himself, hold the rifle straight and shoot with accuracy.

Much had gone wrong lately for Matt Emmons, but a gold medal should help. (Douglas C. Pizac -- AP)

_____ Day 8 _____
Michael Phelps wins his fifth gold, then gives up his spot in the 400 medley relay.
Alan Webb doesn't make it out of the preliminaries in the 1,500 meters.
Running in the Olympics is a giant step for several women.
The British are considering a protest of Aaron Peirsol's gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke.
Bethesda native Joe Jacobi bids the Games farewell.
The dominating U.S. softball team shuts out Taiwan, 3-0.
The U.S. women's basketball team upends Spain, 71-58.
A bronze medal-winning Greek weightlifter fails a drug test.
New Jersey native Matt Emmons wins a gold in the 50-meter rifle.
Inge De Bruijn advances to defend her 50-meter freestyle title.
French claim gold, bronze medals in single kayak slalom.

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At 44, Merlene Ottey is running past women less than half her age.

_____ On Our Site _____
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___ Friday's Medals Results ___
Women's team
Men's 20km walk
Men's doubles
Canoe-Kayak (Slalom Racing)
Men's canoe double
Men's kayak single
Cycling (Track)
Women's 500-meter time trial
Men's 1km time trial final
Women's team epee
Gymnastics (Trampoline)
Women's individual
Men's 100kg-plus
Women's 78kg-plus
Women's 50-meter rifle 3-position
Men's 50-meter rifle prone
Men's 50 freestyle
Men's 100 butterfly
Women's 200 backstroke
Women's 800 freestyle
Table Tennis
Women's doubles
Women's 75kg

_____ Multimedia _____
Audio: Mike Ruane on Phelps.

_____ Photos _____
Day 8
Photo galleries page

He did it, though. He remained composed and focused. His reward was an Olympic gold medal.

"How's it supposed to feel? I don't know," the New Jersey native said. "I probably won't realize it until I get home."

During an international event in April, Emmons discovered someone had ruined his gun. Judging the damage, he figured someone had taken a screwdriver to it. He took a shot, and the shell stayed lodged in his gun.

So the Alaska resident had to borrow another, and you should know that shooters value their guns like young girls value their teddy bears. It was an adjustment, but he found the comfort with the new rifle.

"This one's amazing," he said of the borrowed gun. "It shoots better than the one I have. So it's a blessing in disguise."

Emmons is the first American in 40 years to qualify for three Olympic events. He did not reach the final in the air rifle event, but he has a chance to earn another medal in the three-position rifle.

-- From News Services

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