By Michael Molinaro, U.S. Army Marksmanship UnitAugust 5, 2012
LONDON (Aug. 5, 2012) -- U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program pistol shooter Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski competed Aug. 5 in the men's 50-meter free pistol competition, his last event as an Olympian.
The four-time Olympian finished in 28th place in the match after shooting a 550. This came on the heels of a 23rd-place finish in the men's 10-meter air pistol event July 28.
"I was a little bit too careful today," Szarenski said. "It basically comes down to not shooting enough tens."
Jongoh Jin of Korea won his second gold medal of the Olympics in pistol shooting and defended his 2008 Olympic gold medal in this event after chasing down fellow countryman Young Rae Chow in the final. Chow came in with a score of 569, seven points ahead of Jin's 562 after qualification. Down 1.6 with one shot remaining, the experienced Jin fired a 10.2 while Chow shot a 8.1, handing Jin the gold medal with a total of 662. Chow finished with 661.5 and the silver medal. Zhiwei Wang of China won the bronze after shooting a 658.6.
"I knew that if I won, it would be the second gold in two Olympics, but I did not imagine that I would do this," Jin said. "My qualification was not good and I nearly gave up on this idea (of winning). I was trying not to be too ambitious."
After pulling the trigger for the last time at these London games, Szaresnki said this would be his final time competing at the Olympics. Not many athletes get to compete on a stage like the Olympics one time, let alone four, and he said each one was its own separate journey. While he enjoyed London as a whole, the results didn't hit the target.
"I worked really hard for this one and I had much higher expectations," Szarenski said. "It didn't work out. I'm going sailing."
Upon his return to the United States, Szarenski will close out his 20-year military career and retire next year. He plans to reside in Alabama.