The Olympic champion of Athens 2004, Andrea Benelli, is more than happy to welcome you into his farm house located in the Florence hills. Thanks to the Olympic-style skeet sport facilities reproduced around his Agritourism, the gold medallist trained himself there for his Greek winning adventure...
Athens, 22nd August 2004 - The Italian Champion has won the gold medal after a breathtaking shoot-off with the Finnish champion Marko Kemppainen.
Benelli, arrived to the final with a one point shot of disadvantage from Kemppainen, but beat him in the overtime.
This is the final rank of the Olympic games 2004 :
1. Andrea Benelli (Ita) 149 (+5)
2. Marko Kemppainen (Fin) 149 (+4)
3. Juan Miguel Rodriguez (Cub) 147 (+8)
Andrea Benelli, after the the fifth and last shot, started to jump all over the skeet stage like a crazy splinter...;)
"I won't do any more zero" he said, quite excited, after having sang the Italian national anthem together with the Italian Ministry Urbani, the Secretary Pescante, the Coni (Italian Olympic Committee) President and all the Skeet Federal staff.
The new Olympic champion, great "tifoso of Calcio" and supporter of A.C. Fiorentina has decided to retire from any international competion after this wonderful Olympic gold medal. It's true that, after having won 8 world championships, 8 European Championships and hundreds of other National and International competitions, it's wonderful to close his career with the most prestigious medal.
" You can't imagine all the sacrifices I made in the last 4 years. My only goal was this magic gold medal, and it's a great chance for me to close my career with this victory"".
In the morning, during the qualifications, Andrea made an error while his adversary made zero mistakes (125/125 for the Finnish to 124/125 for the Italian) arriving at the final in second position. Then, at the Markopoulo shooting centre, with an African temperature, Bellini exceeded his opponent and took the lead with zero mistakes during the final shots.
At the shoot-off the Finnish makes another mistake but is immediately imitated by the Italian.
"I didn't know if he had done one or two mistakes" Benelli said at the end. The tension is high, the Finnish does another mistake but this time Benelli shows all his class and experience and hits both the plates... after that Andrea ran and started to jump and cry like a fool all around the Olympic stage of the Markopoulo center.