The Slovenia Times

Slovenia with the third medal!!!


The 49-year-old with eight Olympic appearances finished only 0.2 points behind silver medalist Lionel Cox of Belgium (701.2 points). Sergei Martynov of Belarus won the Olympic gold with a new world record of 705.5 points.

This is the third Olympic medal for Debevec, after he won gold in 2000 in Sydney and bronze in 2008 in Beijing in the three-position event.

In the qualification, Debevec took his time to adjust the rifle, but this paid off since he made it directly to the finals with a third place and a score of 596 points in 60 shots, avoiding additional stress in the shoot-off.

He almost caught up in the finals with Cox, who was three points ahead of him after the qualification, and secured a strong lead ahead of India's Joydeep Karmakar.

"It may have seemed winning the medal was easy, but it wasn't. In the qualification, I had a lot of worries," Debevec said after the event.

"Before the finals, new doubts arose, since I did not have the chance to test these shooting ranges, but the lighting was excellent," he added.

Debevec admitted that his "rifle was not too steady in the finals" and his "heart rate was high", but stressed that he "nevertheless had everything under control from the first shot to the last".

Among the many congratulations following the bronze medal, Debevec's achievement was praised by a number of Slovenia's senior officials, who lauded his hard work and perseverance.

While President Danilo Türk also highlighted his focus, calmness and mental strength for withstanding the enormous pressure, parliamentary Speaker Gregor Virant said that the third Olympic medal was the best acknowledgement for the exceptional athlete, who had been winning major achievements for decades.

Debevec also received congratulations from Education and Sport Minister Žiga Turk and Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec.

After today's bronze in what has become Debevec's main event in the recent years as he has been experiencing trouble with shooting in standing position, the veteran Olympian will appear at the London Olympics again in men's 50m rifle three positions on Monday.


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