I'm not expert in the sport of shooting, but if the world record is calculated by the amount of points, how can you beat a perfect score? You can see the records on the official site for the London Olympics, and there is no mentioning of time. So can a score of 600 still be beaten? And what's with the 704.8?
In the event you mention (50m Rifle Prone), the 8 best qualifiers shoot in the final event. In the final event, the scoring zones are divided into tenths, with 10.9 being the maximum score per shot (ten shots are taken).
The final total is the combination of the qualification and final score.
The competition is won by the shooter who reaches the highest aggregate score (qualification + final, maximum 709.0).
So, if you shoot in the final, you could hit a perfect 600 (in qualification) and then your final ten could be anything up to 109, meaning a maximum possible of 709.
You note the 704.8 but actually, in the London 2012 games just now, Sergei Martynov won gold with 705.5.
I'll add also that, once someone shoots 709, that will be the maximum world record (and it will be shared by anyone else shooting 709) unless the scoring changes.
For clarity, this is how the shooting is scored:
- Number of shots : 60
- Score possibilities : 0 to 10 per shot
- Maximum possible score : 60 shots scoring 10 = 600
Final (Top 8 qualifying shooters)
- Number of shots : 10
- Score possibilities : 0 to 10.9 per shot
- Maximum possible score : 10 shots scoring 10.9 = 109
- Qualifying Score + Final Score = Total Score
- 600 + 109 = 709
This is old scoring system. The finals are now more dynamic, rather than challenging and tough. The Internation Shooting Sport Federation website has latest scoring updates for various events, especially those not part of Olympics, eg the World Cup, World Championship and SAF games.
Major events are
- trap, double trap, and skeet in 12 bore,
- air pistol 10 meter,
- free pistol 50 meter,
- sports pistol 25 meter,
- centre fire 25 meter,
- rapid fire 25 meter,
- standard pistol 25 meter,
- air rifle 10 meter,
- 3-position rifle 50 meter,
- prone rifle 50 meter,
- running target 10 meter,
- big bore championships at 300 meter and 1000 meter.
I like the old finals format more as I am an old shooter and I have seen the circuit in action in old scoring system. However, now as the fineness and accuracy are very high finals are very tight. Once you read the scoring you will appreciate the finals more.