Four Olympic shooting events were contested today at the Changwon International Shooting Centre, where the 52nd edition of the ISSF World Championship is taking place.
10m Air Rifle Men
In the opening event of the day 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sergey Kamenskiy (30) of the Russian Federation won the 10m Air Rifle Men event, climbing up the scoreboard with a strong series of tens, landing atop of the podium with 248.4 points.
After leading through most of the final match, Kamenskiy jeopardized his match on the second-to-last shot, when he fired a frustrating 8.9 — the only shot out of the 10th ring of his competition. With one shot to go, he found himself tied in the lead with Croatia’s Peter Gorsa.
The last shot turned into a shoot-off for gold: a single shot that Kamenskiy cleared with a brilliant 10.6 against Gorsa’s 9.7, pocketing the brightest medal at the end of a thrilling match. The second Croatian finalist, 21-year-old Miran Maricic followed them in 3rd place, claiming bronze with 227.3 points.
The Russian athlete, as well as the three following finalists, earned a Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota place for their country.
Silver medalist Peter Gorsa (30) scored 247.5 points to climb on the second step of podium. People’s Republic of China’s Hui Zicheng (29) followed the medalists in 4th place with 206.1 points, also securing the fourth and last Olympic quota to be awarded in the final.
The title defender, 2014 World Champion and Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Yang Haoran of the People’s Republic of China, followed him in 5th place with 185.7 points, ahead of India’s Deepak Kumar (30) — 6th with 164.1 points — Mahyar Sedaghat (22) of the Islamic Republic of Iran — 7th with 143.0 points — and of Republic of Korea’s Nam Taeyun (20) — 8th with 121.4 points.
Hui and Yang met again atop the team podium, as the People’s Republic of China secured the gold medal with a combined score of 1887.4 points: a new World Record. The Russian Federation followed in 2nd position with 1884.0 points, while the Republic of Korea also made it to podium, winning bronze with 1878.5 points.
10m Air Rifle Women
The first world title for the host country and two Olympic quota places: Republic of Korea’s Im Hana and Jung Eunhea drove the crowd crazy at the Changwon International Shooting Centre, where they pocketed a gold-bronze combination in the 10m Air Rifle Women event, also claiming two of the four Olympic quota places up for grabs.
17-year-old Im, who is participating here in the first world championship of her career, was standing in 5th place after the first 5-shot series, and in 3rd after the second one. There, the young Korean shooter fired a series of impressive shots, hitting the 10th ring for 14 consecutive times and definitely grabbing the top position after shot number 14. The new World Champion, who made her 4th appearance ever in an ISSF competition, concluded with 251.1 points.
Im prevailed over another talent — India’s 24-year-old Anjum Moudgil — who fired a 9.8-9.7 combination in her third-to-last series, eventually signing off with 248.4 points and the silver medal around her neck.
The podium was completed by another Korean shooter: Jung Eunhea, indeed, joined Im and Moudgil on the podium after she led the scoreboard in the earliest part of the match. The 28-year-old from Incheon claimed the bronze medal with 228.0 points.
The other two Olympic quota places were awarded to Moudgil and to the second Indian shooter in the final — 25-year-old Apurvi Chandela — who took 4th place with 207.0 points. Chandela was followed by Singapore’s Adele Tan Qian Xiu (19), who barely missed the Olympic slot and finished in 5th place with 184.3 points.
Italy’s 29-year-old Petra Zublasing left the contest after shot number 14, taking 7th place with 142.9 points. Two shots later, it was Chinese Taipei’s Lin Ying-Shin who left the match: the 19-year-old athlete, currently number 2 in the World Ranking in this event, concluded in 6th position with 163.4 points. Germany’s Isabella Straub was the first shooter eliminated from the final: the 27-year-old finished with 122.1 points and took 8th place.
On the team podium, the Republic of Korea secured the gold medal with 1886.2 points, setting a new World Record in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event. The silver medal was awarded to India with 1879.0 points, while the bronze medal went to Germany with 1878.4.
Trap Women Junior
Italy’s Erica Sessa is the new World Champion in the Trap Women Junior event: the 19-year-old shooter won the final match beating India’s 19-year-old Manisha Keer in a shoot-off, after the two finished with 41 hits at the end of the 50-shot final.
It only took one target in the tie-break, as Sessa beat Keer and finished atop the podium. Both shooters equalled the World Record set in 2017 by Marie-Louis Meyer of Germany at the European Championship in Baku (AZE).
The Italian athlete had already finished under the spotlight at the 2017 ISSF Junior World Cup in Porpetto (ITA) where she placed 1st and collected her first international medal. Furthermore, she won gold at this year’s European Championship in Leobersdorf (AUT).
Russia’s 16-year-old Daria Semianova claimed bronze with 31 crushed targets out of 40, winning her second international award in less then a month, after the silver medal she secured at the same championship in Leobersdorf.
The second Italian finalist, 19-year-old Maria Lucia Palmitessa, closed the match in 4th place with 27 hits out of 35 clays. Germany’s Kathrin Murche (18) and Kazakhstan’s Sarsankul Rysbekova (20) followed in 5th and 6th place with 27 hits out of 30 and 20 hits out of 25, respectively.
The Italian team finished atop the Trap Women Junior team podium with a combined score of 352 hits, also establishing a new Junior World Record. The People’s Republic of China, in spite of having no shooter in the final, claimed the team’s silver with 327 clays scored; one target behind, at 326, the United States of America collected the bronze.
The fourth and conclusive event of the day crowned 35-year-old shooter Alberto Fernandez of Spain, who won the second world title of his career.
Fernandez, who previously won the World Championship in Munich (GER) in 2010, only missed two of his 50 targets, prevailing over Slovakia’s two-time World Champion Erik Varga, who instead missed three clays.
Varga crushed 47 total targets, adding a silver medal to the two World Championship golds he won in Granada (ESP) in 2014 and Lonato (ITA) in 2015. Kuwait’s Abdulrahman Al Faihan, Junior World Champion in Zagreb (CRO) in 2006, completed the podium in 3rd place, taking bronze with 32 hits out of 40 clay targets.
Participating in the first final match of his career in the Trap Men event, Australia’s 22-year-old James Willett — a four-time World Cup medalist in the Double Trap Men event — placed just outside of the podium, hitting 28 of his 35 targets and finishing in 4th position.
The four Olympic quotas for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were awarded to Spain, Slovakia, Kuwait and Australia. Italy’s Mauro De Filippis — gold medalist at this year’s ISSF World Cup stage in Changwon — concluded his match in 5th place with 23 crushed clays out of 30.
Despite earning himself the higher qualification bib, United States’ Walton Eller left the match after only 25 targets missing eight of them and placing 6th with 17 hits.
Along with the individual bronze, Kuwait also won the team gold medal with 360 total hits; the silver and bronze medals was awarded to the United States of America and Italy, who also finished with 360 hits, but took 2nd and 3rd place according to the countback rule.
The ISSF World Championship in Changwon will continue tomorrow with two more finals: the 10m Air Pistol Women, scheduled at 1:15 pm (UTC+9:00), and the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team Junior, taking place at 2:45 pm.