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10m Air Pistol Men - Denys's greatest day ended up with a handshake

2010-08-25 16:49:00 ISSF

A medal to wear, a present for his beloved one, and an energizing handshake with his idol Sergey Bubka, these were the ingredients of Denys Kushnirov’s greatest day.

24.08.2010 - Winning a Youth Olympic Gold it’s an outstanding achievement by itself. But if at the same time you also meet your idol, and find the right birthday present for your girlfriend, well, there are good chances that the day it’s going to turn into the best of your life.

This is what Denys Kushnirov probably though after winning today’s 10m Air Pistol Men event at the Youth Olympic Games of Singapore, while dedicating the title to his beloved one.

“This is for Anastasia. My girlfriend!” the 17-year old from Dnipropetrovsk said kissing the Gold medal. “Yesterday it was her birthday. I could not get a better present for her than this victory!”

Kushnirov always wears a silver ring on his right hand which Anastasia gave him, and the right-handed marksman never parts with it, switching it to his left hand when he holds his air pistol.

He had to fight to get on the highest step of the podium, today. Qualified with 578 points, he walked into the final round in the lead, but had to defend his first place from Brazil’s Felipe Almeida Wu, following him a few tens of a point behind.

Totalizing 98.3 points throughout the ten-shot final round, Kushnirov eventually secured the Youth Olympic Champion title with a total score of 676.3 points, leaving his opponents just 0.3 points behind him.

“It has been difficult, but I knew I could make it!” said Kushnirov, who had already proved his skills a few months ago, by winning the European Championship in Meraker “My next aim? The London Olympic Games! I want to go there and win!”

As Ukraine’s National anthem was fading out, the best surprise walked into the hall: Sergey Bubka, Ukraine’s most successful sportsman, a pole vault legend chosen as Athlete Role Model by the IOC, came to shake Kushnirov hand.

“Sergey Bubka is my idol! I am so happy and honoured that he came to see me after the final!” Kushnirov said, at the end of the best day of his life.

“This is why the Youth Olympic Games are great. We have the chance to meet the champions of tomorrow!” Sergey Bubka said right after the final “It has been a tight and impressive match. I had to congratulate with the winner!”

The Silver medal went to Felipe Almeida Wu of Brazil, who closed in second place with a total score of 676.0 (576+100.0) points. Following him, the Korean ace Choi Daehan landed in third place grabbing the Bronze medal with 671.6 (571+100.6) points.

Today’s turned out to be an unlucky final for Czech Republic’s Jindrich Dubovy, who dropped from the third place down to the sixth, after firing a frustrating last shot of 8.6 points, leaving the fourth and the fifth places to Belarus’ Aliaksei Horbach and to Germany’s Philipp Kaefer, respectively.

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