Harbison misses out on medal in rifle 8.5 scores on final shots leave him in sixth place

Atlanta Olympics

July 28, 1996|By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

ATLANTA -- Denied in one final attempt to win a medal for the marksmanship unit at Fort Benning, Ga., Rob Harbison at least can say he fired the last shot of the Olympic shooting competition.

After making the final eight in three-position rifle, his second final of the Games, Harbison, formerly of Fallston, Md., was in medal ** contention until the end of the 10-shot final. On his final shot, Harbison's 8.5 dropped him into a tie for fifth with Jozef Gonci of Slovakia.

Gonci fired first in the shoot-off, scoring a 10.0 (10.9 is a perfect shot), then Harbison recorded his second straight 8.5 to finish sixth.

U.S. shooters won three medals, all coming early in the eight-day schedule. Kim Rhode won gold in women's double trap. Josh Lakatos and Lance Bade won silver and bronze, respectively, in men's trap.

The gold medal went to Jean-Pierre Amat of France, who set Olympic records with his qualifying score of 1,175 and his final score of 1,273.9 in the three-position (prone, standing and kneeling) event. Sergey Beliaev of Kazakhstan won the silver and Wolfram Waibel of Austria took the bronze.

In 15 shooting events, 15 Olympic records were set in the eight-day competition at the new Wolf Creek Shooting Complex southwest of Atlanta.

Harbison also made the air rifle final last Monday, finishing seventh when an 8.4 on his last shot dropped him four spots from third place.

"I had a great day today," Harbison said. "Today I got beat fair and square; 1,170 is a great [qualifying] score and so was my [1,267.7] final score."

In fact, before yesterday's rush of high scores, Harbison's final would have set an Olympic record.

"You don't see those kind of scores," said Harbison, 30, who lives in Phenix City, Ala. "It's great to see the Olympics bring that out of you."

The only other shooting final yesterday was in skeet. The last qualifying sessions and the final were conducted through a persistent rain, but that didn't stop the week-long assault on records.

Italy's Ennio Falco had a perfect qualifying score of 125 and then hit 24 of 25 targets for a final total of 149, another Olympic record.

Pub Date: 7/28/96

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