It’s the first award for the 20-year-old Greek Pistol shooter, while Campriani already won the trophy back in 2012. The two athletes won a total of 4 Olympic medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games: three Golds and one Bronze.
The final verdict of the 2016 season is out: Italy’s Niccolò Campriani and Greece’s Anna Korakaki are the male and female ISSF Shooter of the Year award winners.
Both athletes shined the most at the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) last August, claiming two medals each and sealing their season with the exclamation point of the prestigious award.
Anna Korakaki first claimed the Olympic Bronze medal in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event, eventually becoming the Olympic Champion in the 25m Pistol women event on August 9th.
Korakaki is the first Greek athlete to win an Olympic medal in Shooting in 120 years: in 1896, in fact, Pistol shooter Ioannis Phrangoudis won two medals in the first edition of the modern Olympic Games: 1 Gold and 1 Bronze.
Anna Korakaki’s season also saw her claim two medals during the ISSF World Cup stage in Baku (AZE) and two at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl (GER). In Baku she pocketed 2 Silvers in the 10m Air Pistol Women and in the 25m Pistol Women, while in Suhl she placed 1st in the 10m air Pistol Women event and 2nd in the 25m Pistol Women event.
At the ISSF World Cup Final in Bologna (ITA), then, she put the icy on the cake of her outstanding season, claiming the ISSF globe in the women’s 25m Pistol event and placing 2nd in the women’s 10m Air Pistol one.
“I’m very happy about this award,” Korakaki said. “It’s an honor to be given such a title by the coaches, the athletes and the members of the media. I wanna thank them all.”
“Winning is more than just medals to me, I overcame many challenges and many difficulties in the past years, like many athletes in the world. So above all, this a recognition to all the efforts I made.” She continued.
“2016 has been by far my most successful year, everything came right with perfect timing and I’ve been finally able to put into effect what I’ve been learning and working on for all these years. It’s my first Shooter of the Year award and I hope it’s not the last one.” Concluded the Greek shooter.
29-year-old Niccolò Campriani also wrote a page of history during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as he won 2 Gold medals in the men’s 10m Air Rifle and men’s 50m Rifle 3 Position events, becoming the most successful Rifle shooter in the history of the Olympic Games.
Indeed, Campriani previously secured 1 Gold and 1 Silver medal at London 2012.
"Once again the ISSF Shooter of the Year nomination caught me by surprise,” said Campriani. “I had amazing performances at the Olympic Games but I can't say the same for the rest of the season... I want to believe that all the bad finals that I had in the past 4 years, all the mistakes and the 8th places, gave me the knowledge and the tools to face the Games in Rio.”
“Due to this I was able to give my very best when it counted the most,” he continued. “It's a message of hope for all my fellow shooters: don't give up on your dreams, no matter how tough it may look. I want to thank the ISSF for recognizing my efforts and all the people that have supported me in this journey and made it possible."
The award has been assigned by the International Shooting Sport Federation according to the vote of the ISSF Coaches Advisory Committee, the ISSF Athletes Committee and a selected panel of media representatives.
Here’s the top-10 male athletes according to the poll:
- Niccolò Campriani (ITA)
- Jin Jongoh (KOR)
- Hoang Xuan Vinh (VIE)
- Christian Reitz (GER)
- Felipe Almeida Wu (BRA)
- Matthew Emmons (USA)
- Henri Junghaenel (GER)
- Gabriele Rossetti (ITA)
- Sergey Kamenskiy (RUS)
- James Willett (AUS)
And the top-10 ranking female athletes:
- Anna Korakaki (GRE)
- Barbara Engleder (GER)
- Du Li (CHN)
- Snjezana Pejcic (CRO)
- Kimberly Rhode (USA)
- Zhang Mengxue (CHN)
- Ray Bassil (LBN)
- Diana Bacosi (ITA)
- Olena Kostevych (UKR)
- Corey Cogdell (USA)
Campriani and Korakaki will be honored with the trophy during the course of the 2017 ISSF World Cup Series.