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Johnson scores bronze in shoot-off

Published: 8:59PM Thursday September 11, 2008 Source: ONE Sport

Kiwi shooter and defending Athens champion Michael Johnson has won a bronze in the Mixed R4 10m Rifle Standing event in Beijing on Thursday night at the last possible moment.

Johnson took third place in the SH2 shooting competition with a 10.6 in a shoot-off after tying with Ho-Gyoung You of South Korea for a total of 701.2.

With the consistent Korean Ji-Seok Lee winning the event on a score of 704.3 followed by Frenchman, Raphael Voltz on 703.5 Johnson found himself equal with You at the final of the ten shots.

Their totals were both comprised of 597 in qualifying and 104.2 in the final round.

A shoot-off was required for the bronze medal. The Korean shot first and scored 10.2. Johnson from Auckland took his time and shot 10.6 before raising his arms in the air in jubilation at taking the bronze.

I dont know what it is but I always seem to be in shoot-offs. Its just great to get the bronze. Im so happy, he said.

The New Zealander improved greatly after only qualifying seventh and nearly missing the finals all together after inexperienced judges took exception to his stance in his wheelchair.
However Johnson proved to know the rule book better than the judges and managed a place in the finals in seventh after pointing out his stance was perfectly legal as per the rule book. 

I just wanted to take out all my anger and frustration at the judges in the finals, he said.

Johnson competes in a wheelchair after a car accident in 1996 left him with a broken neck. The classification SH2 means he can use a spring to support the weight of the rifle when shooting.

There is no point system with disabled shooting. Shooters are classified into either SH1 or SH2 depending on their disability, and as a general guide people with good hand function and trunk control are SH1 while all others are SH2, although in open events they can compete together

His performance lifts New Zealand to 24th on the medal table with two each of gold, silver and bronze.