London, July 28: Italy took their first medal of the London Olympics Saturday, beating the US 219-218 in a nail-biting men`s archery cricket stadium final at the Lord`s
On the final shot, Italy`s Michele Frangilli was left needing to shoot at least a nine to keep his team`s hopes of victory alive, but he sealed the gold medal with the maximum score of 10.
Italy had opened a narrow lead early on at Lord`s and led by four points at the half-way stage, but the US cut it back to one point ahead of the final end.
The US, chasing their first Olympic gold in archery since the Atlanta Games in 1996, had earlier beaten favourites South Korea in the semi-finals, even though the Koreans had broken the world record Friday.
South Korea claimed the bronze medal after overcoming Mexico 224-219 in a playoff.
Italy had twice been losing finalists in the men`s team competition, most recently in Beijing in 2008, but had never won the gold.
The women`s team competition is Sunday, with the women`s individual final Thursday and men`s Friday.