London: Yi Siling of China took the honour of claiming the first gold medal of the London Olympics when she won the women's 10 metre air rifle at the Royal Artillery Barracks on Saturday.

Yi finished with a winning total of 502.9.

Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, who led for the first half of the final, claimed silver with a total of 502.2 after a costly shot in the eighth round. Yu Dan of China won bronze with a total of 501.5.

Yi, the world number one, smiled in delight as she scooped what is sure to be the first of many golds for China at the London Games.

Bogacka finished top of the 56 competitors in qualifying with a 399 mark and started the eight-woman final well before a costly 9.7 shot in the eighth round saw her 0.3 point lead over Yi turn into a 0.7 deficit after the Chinese fired a 10.7.

Yi then closed out with further shots of 10.3 and 10.5 to huge cheers from the near 2,000 spectators at the indoor range in south east London.

Among those in attendance was International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, who clapped from his seat when Yi was confirmed the winner as Chinese dignitaries around him leapt to their feet in delight.


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