Four Olympic shooting event were contested today at the Changwon International Shooting Centre, in Changwon, where the ISSF World Championship is currently taking place.
50m Rifle 3 Positions Men
Poland’s Tomasz Bartnik led the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event throughout the three positions, right to the last shot, winning the world title with 3.0 points of advantage on his closest follower. His final score of 460.4 points turned out to be unbeatable for his opponents, who fought for silver, bronze, and the three remaining Olympic quota places at stake.
Bartnik had never won an ISSF gold medal, before: the 28-year-old shooter from Warsaw placed 52nd at the 2010 ISSF World Championship in Munich (GER). Today, he walked into the final ranked 14th in the world. Along with the world title, Bartnik secured a quota place for Tokyo 2020.
Croatia’s Petar Gorsa (30) followed him in second place with 457.4 points, claiming his second silver medal in Changwon. The bronze medal went to United States’ Michael McPhail, a 36-year-old prone shooting specialist, who focused on 3 Positions after his main event was scrapped from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Programme in favour of mixed team events.
The American shooter built up his success on a strong prone position, outscoring Norway’s Henrik Larsen (20), who finished in fourth with 437.0 points and claimed another quota place.
As Gorsa had already won an Olympic qualification spot in the air rifle event, the fourth Olympic slot up for grabs at was awarded to 22-year-old Yang Haoran of the People’s Republic of China, who closed today’s match in 5th with 427.4 points.
Trap Mixed Team
34-year-old Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova and 42-year-old Erik Varga brought the Slovakian flag on top of the Trap Mixed Team podium for the third time in the last four competitions, ruling the final at the ISSF World Championship in Changwon after claiming the brightest medal at two of this year’s World Cup stages.
Previously during the championship, both of them had also won an individual medal: Rehak Stefecekova took gold in yesterday’s Trap Women event, while Varga placed 2nd in the Trap Men final, two days ago. Moreover, in both occasions the Slovakian shooters secured an Olympic quota place for their country.
The second Olympic slot was awarded to the silver medalist team — composed by Russian Federation’s Alexey Alipov (43) and Ekaterina Rabaya (24) — who finished five hits behind their Slovakian rivals, hitting 40 clays out of 50.
Barely missing the second Olympic quota up for grabs, Great Britain’s 29-year-old Kirsty Barr and 31-year-old Aaron Heading took a bitter bronze medal with 33 hits out of 40 clays. The very last target turned out to be decisive for the British the team, who left the match because of a lower qualification ranking.
Air Rifle junior events
It took an additional shoot-off to deliver the 10m Air Rifle Men Junior title at the ISSF World Championship in Changwon, as India’s 16-year-old Hriday Hazarika and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Amir Mohammad Nekounam (20) battled fiercely for the top position and finished tied at 250.1 points after shot number 24.
There, with the gold medal on the line, the Indian shooter — gold medalist at this year’s Junior World Cup in Suhl (GER) — fired a great 10.3, barley prevailing over Nekounam’s 10.2 and securing the brightest medal.
The podium was completed by Grigorii Shamakov (17) of the Russian Federation — bronze medalist at this year’s European Championship in Gyor (HUN) — who added another 3rd place to his collection and scored 228.6 points.
In the women’s event, China’s 20-year-old Shi Mengyao immediately took the lead by scoring 52.7 points in a great opening series. In the rest of the match, she lost the top position only once, after the shot number 12, when India’s Elavenil Valarivan briefly overtook her by a small margin.
There, Shi immediately moved back in first place with a brilliant 10.9, then managing her lead over her rivals and closing the match with 250.5 points.
Valarivan shot neck and neck with her teammate Shreya Agrawal, eventually bagging the silver medal with 249.8 points. Agrawal followed in 3rd place, collecting the bronze with 228.4.