By Patrick Johnston
LONDON (Reuters) - China's Guo Wenjun produced a near perfect last shot to claim gold in the women's 10 meter air pistol, retaining her Olympic title in a topsy-turvy final of nerve-jangling shooting on Sunday.
Guo finished with a score of 488.1 points with France's Celine Goberville claiming silver after a shootoff with Ukraine's Olena Kostevych after both finished on 486.6.
Guo threw her hands over her face in disbelief after scoring a 10.8 - just shy of the maximum 10.9 - to overhaul Goberville, who held a 0.5 advantage going into the 10th and decisive round.
The 25-year-old Frenchwoman was only able to muster a disappointing 8.8 with her final effort.
The 28-year-old Chinese had topped the qualifying for the eight-woman final at the Royal Artillery Barracks in south east London but began the final in the indoor range with a woeful eight to open the door to her European counterparts.
Kostevych, the 2004 Athens Games gold medalist, then took advantage after the first round before Guo and Goberville exchanged the lead several times in the nervous final before the Chinese sealed it with a masterful final shot.
As she celebrated her victory with her coaches, the crowd were hushed before Goberville struck a 10.6 in the shootoff to trump Kostevych's 9.7 to seal silver.
Guo's victory followed countrywoman Yi Siling's triumph on Saturday when she won the first gold of the Games in the 10m air rifle as China generally made a strong start to London 2012.
(Reporting by Patrick Johnston, editing by Mark Meadows)
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