Jean Quiquampoix, Olympic vice-champion five years ago in Rio, won the Olympic speed pistol title on Monday in Tokyo. He brought the French delegation a 22nd medal, the sixth in gold.
After an average start to the final (4/5 then 3/5), the 25-year-old gunner stunned the competition by chaining two 5/5 in a row, then two 4/5. Regularity rewarded as, little by little, his opponents cracked, like the reigning Olympic champion, the German Christian Reitz, only fifth. Assured of a podium, Quiquampoix went for the gold medal by concluding the final with a 5 out of 5, equaling the Olympic record with a total score of 34 out of 40.
“I’ve been working hard for five years to come and get this gold medal, explained the new Olympic champion at the microphone of France Televisions. It was really a relief and a satisfaction to have won the gold today (this Monday). I am extremely happy to have won my medal in this way. You would think it was easy, that it went like clockwork, but it was really very hard emotionally. It was really hard to stay focused, to not give up on every ball, every tenth of a second, to hit the mark on every impact. By dint of having made the finals and having worked, I succeeded today. “
Bronze medalist at the 2018 Worlds and European champion two months ago in Croatia, Quiquampoix won the biggest title of his career. He is ahead of Cuban Leuris Pupo, 2012 Olympic champion, and Chinese Yuehong Li, already bronze medalist in Rio.