WVU Grad Nicco Campriani Wins Olympics Gold - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Grad Nicco Campriani Wins Olympics Gold

Campriani, pictured with the other medal winners. Campriani, pictured with the other medal winners.

Silver is good, but gold is better.

A week after securing a second place finish in the men's 10 meter air rifle finals, former WVU shooter Nicco Campriani blew away the competition in the 50 meter 3 position finals at the London Olympics to take home the gold medal.

Campriani, shooting for Italy, set a new Olympics record with his showing on Monday as he scored 1278.5, besting the second place finisher, the Republic of Korea's Kim Jonghyun, by six full points. Matthew Emmons of the United States won the bronze.

"I had everything to lose," said Campriani. "I worked really hard before the competition, and there were a lot of expectations on me, which made things even harder. The last 20 shots kneeling were really difficult. There were a lot of heart beats, and I was shaking."

West Virginia rifle coach Jon Hammond also shot in the qualification round of the event, but finished in 41st place and did not advance to the finals.

The 3 position win came after Campriani was left off the medal stand in the 50 meter prone, when he came in eighth place among the finalists. He responded brilliantly by setting an Olympics record in both the qualification and final rounds of the 3 position, both of which count toward the overall score.

Campriani says he could not have accomplished what he has in London without the well wishes that family, friends and fans provided him over the past few weeks.

"Although shooting is an individual sport, you still need support, and I have had tons of messages over the last few days," he said. "My cell phone is off at the moment, but I will reply to them all."

Campriani, a native of Florence, completed his collegiate career with the Mountaineers in the 2010-11 season, winning the Red Brown Cup for WVU's most outstanding all-around student-athlete as a senior. In his two seasons with the program, he helped West Virginia to a 22-2 overall second, a second place finish at the national championships and won his own individual title in the air rifle competition.

"I need a break now from shooting," Campriani admitted after the event. "I will be back in 2013, but I need a long break."

Current WVU senior shooter Petra Zublasing of Appiano, Italy placed 12th in both of her events in London.

You can see the entire men's 50 meter rifle 3 positions, including Campriani's medal ceremony, at this link.

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