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Woman shooter wins China’s first gold

Woman shooter wins China’s first gold

RIO DE JANEIRO: Zhang Mengxue got China off the gold medal mark at the Rio Games on Sunday, the Olympic debutant winning the women’s 10m air pistol title.

With a score of 199.4 points in 20 shots after an assured display of precision shooting at the Deodoro range, the 25-year-old Zhang handily defeated Vitalina Batsarashkina from Russia, the silver medallist with a score of 197.1. Anna Korakaki from Greece won the bronze.

The girl from Jinan grabbed her chance to take the title after her compatriot Guo Wenjun, the champion in 2008 and London 2012, misfired badly in qualifying to miss out on the final.

Another big name missing was the Ukrainian world number one and Athens 2004 champion, Olena Kostevych.

Zhang established her lead midway through the event and pulled away with a 10.9 perfect shot in the final rounds. Her score is an Olympic record under the new finals format.

Ranked fifth in the world, Zhang said she struggled in qualification, where she came in seventh out of eight finalists.

“I was pretty calm for the final actually, because the qualification was a bit tough for me,” Zhang said. “I am still feeling the competition, I am still in that mood, and winning at the Olympic Games was my goal since I was young.”

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2016

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