Rifle Shooter Wins U.S. Military's First 2004 Olympic Medal
By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service
ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 23, 2004 Army Maj. Michael Anti won a silver medal Aug. 22 in men's 50-meter three-position rifle shooting in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
U.S. silver medalist Army Maj. Michael Anti, left, poses
with China gold medalist Zhanbo Jia, center, and Austrian bronze medalist
Christian Planer Aug. 22. The three were winners in the Summer Olympic Games
men's 50-meter three-position rifle shooting. Army photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"I wish I had the gold, but I'm just excited to have a medal," said Anti, 40, of Winterville, N.C., who is assigned to the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga. "We have such a great unit and such a great Army for them to allow me to do this. There are people overseas risking their life to allow me to compete here, so it's a big deal."
China's Zhanbo Jia won the gold medal with 1,264.5 points. Anti, a marksman in the Army World Class Athlete Program, took the silver medal with 1,263.1 points. Austria's Christian Planer claimed the bronze medal with a 1,262.8 total.
Anti entered the final round in seventh place. After shooting marks of 10.4, 8.8, 9.3 and 10.6, he moved into fourth place with a 10.8 on his fifth of 10 shots in the finale. An 8.5 on his ensuing shot, however, cost him dearly. He quickly rebounded with marks of 10.4 and 10.8 to move into third place. Then an 8.1 dropped him back to fourth. He capped the performance with a 10.4.
"For me, it was kind of up and down," Anti said of his final round. "I'd shoot a good 10 and then I'd shoot an 8, then shoot a good 10 and shoot an 8. None of the shots were really bad shots; I just was late on the trigger," he said. "If I caught it a millisecond before, it could've been a 10. I'm just thrilled to death that I won the silver with my final."
(Tim Hipps is assigned to the Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs Office.)