10M AIR RIFLE WOMEN
28 JUL 2012, START TIME 08:15
Let’s start from the beginning: the first Gold medal of the Games. Traditionally, shooting assigns the first Olympic Gold. On July 28, the spotlights will be on the 10m Air Rifle Women event, where the very first champion of the 2012 London Olympics will be crowned. Hundreds of media, and millions of people, are waiting to see the first hero of the XXX Games in action.
Who’s going to climb the highest podium of the world? Who will turn into the icon of the first Olympic match? Hard to guess, so let’s do some math! By the time we publish this article, the People’s Republic of China have not announced their Olympic team yet, but it’s almost sure that 2010 ISSF World Champion Yi Siling will participate in the Olympics. She’s young (23), she is ranked 1st in the world in this event, and she was the first athlete to qualify for the Games in 2010, winning an Olympic Quota at the ISSF World Championship in Munich. Numbers seems to be on her side: out of 15 ISSF competitions she participated in (during the last 4 years), she made it to 12 finals, finishing 9 times with a medal around her neck. Yi turned to be the strongest shooter of 2011 by winning the ISSF World Cup Final in Wroclaw, and he also won this year’s ISSF World Cup Stage in Munich, finishing in second in London at the pre-Olympic test event. She’s good and she knows it, as she admitted herself: “I am so happy with my scores, I feel so good. I hope I make the Olympic team, I want to go London to win the 10m Air Rifle Women final. That’s the dream I have, and I can achieve it!” Who could such defeat such a strong-minded athlete?
There are a number of contenders, first of all the title defender, 2008 Olympic Champion Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic (maiden name: Kurkova). Emmons took some time off from shooting after the last Olympics, as she married American Olympic Champ Matt Emmons and later on gave birth to Julia, their daughter. But during the last season she made a comeback, recording one of the best personal scores of the last Olympic cycle of all the ISSF 10m Air Rifle Women in the “Super 25” list. With an equaled world record of 400 points out of 400, and an outstanding final of 105.9 points, she matched Yi Siling, and climbed back to the World Rankings Top 3.
Facing the two top-ranked shooters, will be Croatia’s 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist Snjezana Pejcic, one of the most consistent international shooters with 18 participations in international ISSF events during the last Olympic cycles and four podium placements. However, Italy’s Petra Zublasing, who finished in the spotlights more than once in the last Olympic cycle, could yet offer us a surprise. Or the USA’s best 10m Air Rifle Women shooters, Jamie Lynn Gray (we mentioned her in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women preview) and Sarah Scherer, a 21-year old first-time Olympian who ranks 9th in the world after winning last year’s ISSF World Cup Stage in Changwon, Korea. Undoubtedly, the 10m Air Rifle Women event will be an open match, with a thrilling final and a new champion waiting to be discovered.
Source - http://www.issf-sports.org/
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