SEOUL, South Korea -- Tor Heiestad, a mechanic who seldom competes in international competition, won the running target event Friday to hand Norway its first Olympic gold medal in shooting since 1952.
In the men's rapid pistol shooting, army officer Aghansi Kouzming, 41, fired a perfect series of bulleyes in the finals to chalk up the fourth Soviet gold medal in shooting.
East Germany's Ralf Schumann, the World Cup champion the past two years and pre-Olympic favorite, placed second behind Kouzming. Zoltan Kovacs of Hungary won the bronze with 693 points, five points off Kouzming's total and three behind Schumann.
China's Huang Shiping, a 1984 bronze medalist, followed Heiestad to become become the first non-European shooter to collect a medal at the Seoul Olympics. Guennadi Avramenko of the Soviet Union took the bronze.
Heiestad and Avramenko also scored 591 apiece in the qualifying rounds to break the former Olympic mark of 589.
The rapid pistol finals began as a East vs West showdown between Kouzming, an army officer, and U.S. Army captain John McNally of Colombus, Ohio.
Kouzming, 41, led McNally 598 to 597 and shot a perfect 100 in the 10-shot final while McNally missed badly and fell to sixth place.
'I felt good but things just didn't go right at the end,' McNally said.
'We concentrate so much just reaching the finals that maybe we are not prepared for them,' he said. McNally placed 26th at the 1984 Olympics. His father was a shooter in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics.
Heiestad, a 26-year-old farm machinery mechanic from Oslo, said he spends more than 40 hours per week training and has not hunted for real game in more than two years.
Heiestand also said he does not participate in many international meets. The Olympics, he said, was only his fifth competition this year.
The running target event has a paper boar traveling on rails. The event will be modified into an indoor competition beginning in 1992 and Heiestad said he may no longer compete in the new version because it would mean training indoors year-round and not enjoying Norway's short summers.
The tall, blonde's performance was Norway's first shooting gold medal since the 1952 Helsinki Games when John Larsen won the former running deer event.
Kouzming, a three-time Olympic particpant, was overlooked in pre-Olympic predictions. He did not compete in 1987 because of an arm injury but beat Schumann earlier this year in Spain and gained confidence.
'It proved to me that he is not invincible, and that he is an athlete just like everyone else' Kouzming said.