Baku, June 18, AZERTAC
The Portuguese master, Joao Costa, was foiled in the final shots of his bid for 10m air pistol glory as Damir Mikec made it three golds from four events for Serbia on the indoor ranges at the Baku 2015 European Games.
Costa, 50, had the gold in his grasp as he pulled back a 4.1-point deficit on long-time leader Juraj Tuzinsky in just four shots, leaving the Slovakian in the bronze medal position.
But Costa, a double world cup winner in Munich last month, held only a 0.1-point advantage going into the final two shots over Mikec and scored 10.4 and 10.0 to the Serbian's 10.7 and 10.1.
The triumph for Mikec, who has four gold and three silver world cup medals, made it a 10m air pistol double for Serbia after Zorana Arunovic claimed the women's title on Wednesday.
Overall, the team has three out of four indoor after Andrea Arsovic took the women's 10m air rifle on Tuesday.
"The final was incredible, I was very bad in the beginning. I shot an 8.0 and after I said to myself, 'just relax and give your best' and then I started to shoot like I know I can," said Mikec.
"I was joking with my friends that Zorana won the gold medal today and Andrea did yesterday, and I said it would be a great shame to destroy 100% success, so I had to get the gold medal."
Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov, 17, who struck gold at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, was left to rue a 7.6 on his third shot. In spite of a perfect 10.9 on his ninth, he could finish only fifth.
Korostylov did, however, have the consolation of securing a quota place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.