Shooting Day 2 Review: Kostelecky creates a new shooting legend
(BEIJING, August 10) – August 10, 2008 will always be remembered as the day a new shooting legend was born in the Men's Trap.
Most pundits were expecting today to be a continuation of an old legend, either in the form of two-time gold medalist Michael Diamond of Australia or Athens 2004 gold medalist Alexey Alipov of Russia.
Few expected overnight leader, the Czech Republic's David Kostelecky to hold out the above two legends and win his first gold medal. Even fewer were expecting such a stellar performance from Kostelecky.
Kostelecky only missed one target in the two qualification rounds that were held today, taking his total qualification score to 121. He then blew his competitors away by hitting 25 consecutive targets in the final, which is a perfect score.
Most were still expecting Diamond to win after he shot well in the opening stages of the final. Alipov, on the other hand, lost his composure and dropped four shots.
Kostelecky, however, was undeterred at the sight of the gallant Diamond. The 33-year-old Czech kept his nerves in check and was unbeatable. Diamond ended up missing two targets in the final, but even a perfect score would not have beaten the Czech shooter.
Kostelecky is the second Czech shooter to win a gold medal at Beijing 2008, following on from Katerina Emmons' victory in the Women's 10m Rifle. Despite the driving rain, he remained cool under pressure and ensured that a shooting legend was born.
The other gold medalist today was China's Guo Wenjun, who won the Women's 10m Air Pistol. Guo performed extremely well in the final, shooting a score of 102.3 which took her total score to 492.3 -- an Olympic record for the final score.
Guo's victory was even more remarkable because she had to beat Russia's Natalia Paderina who broke the Olympic qualification record in the qualification round. However, Guo proved to have nerves of steel and won China's second Shooting gold medal, following on from Pang Wei's win in the Men's 10m Air Pistol.
Shooting Day 3 Preview: China looks for more gold in Shooting
(BEIJING, August 10) -- Another two gold medals will be decided tomorrow in the Men's 10m Air Rifle and the Women's Trap.
China will have a chance to win its third Shooting gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle as World No. 1 Zhu Qinan of China will take part in the event. Zhu won the gold medal in the event at Athens 2004.
If Zhu can win on home soil, he will become the first shooter to win two gold medals in the event, which has been on the Olympic calendar since Los Angeles 1984.
To beat Zhu, an Olympic record will almost certainly need to be broken because Zhu is the current Olympic record holder with a near-perfect 599 in the qualification round at Athens 2004.
Zhu also holds the record for an Olympic final score, the 702.7 that he shot at Athens 2004 to win the gold medal.
Zhu's main threat will be Romanian Alin George Moldoveanu. Moldoveanu won the gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle at the 2008 Munich World Cup in May.
Zhu's form, however, has been better. The 21-year-old Chinese shooter has won two World Cup stops this year – in Beijing and Milan.
Zhu may have to contend with his compatriot, 20-year-old Cao Yifei. Cao was the runner-up at the Milan World Cup and is a talented young shooter.
In the Women's Trap, San Marino's Daniela Del Din will strive to win a gold medal for the tiny European country. Del Din, 38, is the current World No. 1.
China's Liu Yingzi will provide Del Din with some tough competition. The 37-year-old native of Hunan province will be buoyed by the top class performances of China's Shooting gold medalists Pang Wei and Guo Wenjun.
India's Bindra wins gold in the Men's 10m Air Rifle
India's Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal. (Photo credit: Xinhua)
(BEIJING, August 11) -- India's Abhinav Bindra won the gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle in Beijing on August 11 with an incredible performance in the final. Bindra shot a total score of 700.5.
China's Zhu Qinan, gold medalist at Athens 2004, won the silver medal with a total score of 699.7.
The bronze medal was won by Finland's Henri Hakkinen, who was leading the field after the qualification round, but was unable to hold off Bindra and Zhu in the final. The Finnish shooter shot a total of 699.4.
Hakkinen shot 598 in the qualification round, giving him a one point lead over Zhu. Bindra was one point further back with 596.
Bindra signals his intentions early in the final, with a 10.7 on his first shot. None of Bindra's shots in the final dropped below 10.0.
Hakkinen's performance in the final was solid, but it needed to be better. He averaged 10.14 per shot in the final, compared to Bindra's 10.45.
Going into the last shot, Bindra and Hakkinen were tied for first place, but Bindra secured the gold medal with his best shot of the final, an outstanding 10.8.
Conversely, Hakkinen's last shot was his worst, a lowly 9.7. This allowed Zhu to overcome Hakkinen and win the silver medal. Zhu shot 10.5 on his last shot.
Zhu will be disappointed that did not become the first shooter to win two gold medals in the Men's 10m Air Pistol. However, he was unable to reproduce his best – Zhu holds the Olympic record for the final score in the event, the 702.7 that he shot at Athens 2004.
Shooting Day 3 Review: Indian and Finnish surprises rule the day
(BEIJING, August 11) -- Upsets marked the third day of competition in the Olympic Shooting tournament.
India's Abhinav Bindra surprised all by winning the gold medal in the Men's 10m Air Rifle. Bindra shot a total of 700.5 to defeat favorite Zhu Qinan of China and Henri Hakkinen of Finland, who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Bindra's gold medal is the first time that an Indian athlete has won an individual Olympic gold medal. India's previous eight gold medals were all won in Hockey.
Athens 2004 gold medalist Zhu will be disappointed at not winning his second Olympic gold medal, but he has a lot more Olympic competition ahead of him -- Zhu is only 23 years old.
At 25, Bindra is not much older than Zhu, so today's event could be the start of a promising rivalry between the shooters from the world's most populous countries.
Bindra, who secured the gold medal with a 10.8 on his last shot, managed to block out the pressure of being India's first individual gold medalist.
"I was trying to concentrate on shooting. I wasn't thinking about making history. I mean I was two points behind at one stage. I was just trying to concentrate. I just wanted to shoot well, I just wanted to shoot aggressively, and that's what I did," said Bindra.
Zhu on the other hand, shot well below his best and was probably affected by the huge expectations placed on him to win gold.
"My desire for getting another gold medal for my motherland was so strong that I was under so much stress before the Games," said Zhu.
Finland's Satu Makela-Nummela won the gold medal in the Women's Trap, making her only the third Finnish woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
To win gold, Makela-Nummela was forced to defeat Slovakia's Zuzana Stefecekova, who is a world recorder in the event.
Makela-Nummela shot a final score of 91, two more than Stefecekova. The United States' Corey Cogdell won the bronze medal after winning a shoot-off.
The gold medal was an open race after the two favorites, San Marino's Daniela Del Din and China's Liu Yingzi failed to make the final.
Shooting Day 4 Preview: A swag of stars to grace the shooting range
(BEIJING, August 11) -- Tomorrow's Olympic Shooting competition will see gold medals handed out to the winners of the Men's 50m Pistol and the Men's Double Trap.
Athens 2004 gold medalist Mikhail Nestruev of Russia will be looking for another gold medal in the Men's 50m Pistol, but will need to once again confront the Athens 2004 silver and bronze medalists, Jin Jong-oh of the Republic of Korea and Kim Jong-su of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The field actually has another couple of shooters who have won Olympic gold medals in the event - Sydney 2000 gold medalist Tanyu Kiriakov of Bulgaria and Barcelona 1992 gold medalist Kanstantsin Lukashyk of Belarus.
Possible challengers to the Olympic medalists include Joao Costa of Portugal, Matsuda Tomoyuki of Japan and Lin Zhongzai of China.
The United Arab Emirates' Ahmed Al Maktoum will look to defend the gold medal that he won in Men's Double Trap at Athens 2004. Al Maktoum won his country's first Olympic medal by setting an Olympic record in the qualification round and equaling Russell Mark of Australia's Olympic record for the final.
Al Maktoum's main competition will come from Great Britain's Richard Faulds. Faulds won a gold medal in the event at Sydney 2000 and is currently World No. 1.
Mark will also be competing tomorrow, representing Australia for the fifth time at the Olympic Games. Mark won the gold medal in the event at Atlanta 1996 and a silver medal at Sydney 2000. The experienced campaigner may cause an upset and defeat Al Maktoum and Faulds.
Chinese shooter blows out in the final of the Men's 50m Pistol
(L-R) Kim Jong-su, Jin Jong-oh and Tan Zongliang. (Photo credit: Xinhua)
(BEIJING, August 12) -- China's Tan Zongliang will regret his first and last shot in the final of the Men's 50m Pistol for a long time.
The 7.9 points from his first shot, the worst among all his shots in the final, wrote off the two-point lead that he gained in the qualification round. In the qualification round, Tan shot a total of 565, while the other five shooters were tied on 563.
Tan's mistake gave Jin Jong-oh of the Republic of Korea the opportunity to win the gold medal with a final score of 660.4. The silver medal was won by Kim Jong-su of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, who shot a final score of 660.2, while Tan won a consolation bronze with a final score of 659.5.
Jin still gave Tan a chance to win the gold medal though. Kim only scored 8.2 on his last shot, which meant second-placed Tan could still win gold if he scored more than 10.1 on his last shot. Tan, however, could only shoot 9.2 and instead of winning gold, Tan bid farewell to silver as well because Kim overtook Tan with an outstanding 10.5 on his last shot.
The bronze medal is 37-year-old Tan's first medal from four Olympics.
Lanky Texan wins gold and breaks Olympic records in the Men's Double Trap
Eller celebrates his victory. (Photo credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
(BEIJING, August 12) -- US shooter Walton Eller's first Olympic medal is golden.
"It felt awesome. I've been working at this for God knows how long now. The last two times I finished 17th and 12th, so I'm glad I finally made a final," said the 26-year-old Texan.
All his hard work could be witnessed in the qualification rounds, when he hit 145 targets out of a maximum 150, a new Olympic qualification record. Italian Francesco D Aniello finished the qualification rounds in second place, four points less than Eller. The other four shooters who qualified for the final were US shooter Jeffrey Holguin (140), China's Hu Binyuan (138), Sydney 2000 gold medal winner Richard Faulds of Great Britain (137) and Atlanta 1996 gold medal winner Russell Mark of Australia (136).
The final round saw Eller miss five targets, equal to the amount of targets he missed in the three qualification rounds. After Eller missed the first two targets, his opponents had some hope of victory, but the lanky American recovered and hit a total of 45 targets in the final, a good enough score to set a new Olympic record for the final score. Eller's 190 overtook the 189 targets hit by Ahmed Almaktoum of the United Arab Emirates at Athens 2004.
D Aniello and Hu both hit 46 targets in the final, earning the silver and bronze medals respectively with finals scores of 187 and 184.
Holguin (182), Mark (181) and Faulds (180) finished in the last three places. Mark's path to the final was tumultuous as he needed to win a shoot-off against three other shooters. All four shooters had hit 136 targets in the qualification rounds.
Mark needed to hit six targets in the shoot-off, eventually besting Athens 2004 gold medalist Almaktoum.
Since when did the hobby of shooting paper targets, tin cans, water bottles and crows in your garden escalate into a full-blown Olympic event? The guns are equipped with telescopic sights and a vice to keep the rifle steady. Where’s the skill in that?
Stupidity rating 5/10
The final results from the Olympic Trap event are now available
Now that the long wait for the commencement of the xxix Olympiad is almost over, all eyes will move east to Beijing and tomorrows opening ceremony.
One person who will not be participating in this ceremony however will be the ICPSA's own Derek Burnett for whom Friday 8th August 2008 will be the final day of preparation for his quest for Olympic success and he will be found at the Beijing Shooting Range CTF for the official practice session along with the rest of those athletes who will be competing in the Olympic Trap event.
Saturday 9th August will see the first shots fired in the Olympic Trap qualifying rounds at approx. 2am Irish time with each competitor completing 75 targets on day one.
Day two will also start at approx. 2am Irish time and when each competitor has completed a further 50 targets and the make up of the final is known, the final round of 25 targets which will decide the destination of this years medals is scheduled for approx. 8am Irish time.
We would like to wish Derek every success in the days ahead and we are sure that the capable hands of High Performance Programme Director Kevin Kilty and Professor Peter Terry will ensure that Derek is well positioned to "give it his best shot".
RTE has promised comprehensive coverage of the event and the programme schedule should be closely watched in the days ahead for further details and we will post any additional information if or when it becomes available.Day one results:
At the conclusion of day one, Derek Burnett lies in 15th place three targets off the pace. Gusting winds combined with 90% humiditity and 30+ degrees ensured that scores were not as expected and consequently all is still left to shoot for as the Ireland contingent prepare for the second and final days competition.
While Derek is not positioned on the leader board as he or indeed we would have hoped, based on the results of the ISSF World Cup held at the venue earlier in the year a score of 49 ex 50 on day two might be good enough to see him progress to the final.
However even this result is dependant upon the performance of others on the day and his fait is ultimately outside his own hands.
Shooting on day two will commence at approx. 2am Irish time and again we wish Derek, Kevin and Peter the very best of luck.
A report on Derek's progress was broadcast this morning at approx. 8am and further coverage is planned this evening (09/08/08) on RTE after 7pm.
Day two-Final Results: (Full results are available below as a download attachment)
Despite a valiant effort by Derek Burnett, an opening round of 22 saw all chances of his progressing to the finals disappear. His final round score of 19 summed up what has turned out to be a disappointing Olympics both for Derek personally and those involved with the ICPSA High Performance Programme and his finishing position does not accurately reflect the time, energy and dedicated commitment of the last number of years nor indeed the ability and potential of Derek and those supporting him.
It is however a measure of the progress of the sport and the ICPSA High Performance Programme that there is now a real disappointment at not having achieved a result when a good result was expected.
This disappointment also demonstrates the progress made over the past four years from the Association being satisfied merely at qualifying for the Olympics or indeed any major Championships to now seeking not alone to compete with but to realistically expect to finish ahead of competitors from far bigger countries who have substantially more resources in terms of funding and facilities as well as a deeper rooted history in the sport.
The road to London 2012 has already begun and we must look forward to charting the progress of our shooters and the sport internationally and at home in the years ahead.
Sparks wrote: »
Not everyone, it seems, thinks this is real sport. Hooray for Virgin Media :mad:
Shooting Day 4 Review: Sharp shooter smashes record
(BEIJING, August 12) -- The United States’ Walton Eller set an Olympic final record by taking the gold in the Men's Double Trap while Jin Jong-oh won gold for the Republic of Korea in the Men's 50m Pistol with a margin of just 0.2 at the Beijing Shooting Range on Tuesday.
Eller broke both the Olympic qualification and final records that were set by defending gold medalist Ahmed Al-Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates in Athens. Eller, who finished 17th at Athens 2004, shot steadily (45 out of 50) in the final to claim the United States’ first-ever gold in the event.
In the Men's 50m Pistol, Jin, silver medalist in Athens, entered the final ranked sixth but gained the lead from the first shot, which he lost only once on his fourth shot when he scored 8.5. He made a shaky 8.2 on his final shot but held on to win the gold medal.
Kim Jong-su of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea scored an impressive 10.5 on his last shot, but it was not enough to close the gap and he was forced to settle for the silver medal, his second medal in Beijing. He won the bronze medal in the 10m Air Pistol on August 9.
Favorite Tan Zongliang of China earned his first Olympic medal – a bronze - with a score of 659.5. He was first after the qualification round, but a poor first shot (7.9) dropped him to sixth and he was unable to regain the lead.
In the Men's Double Trap, World No. 8 Francesco D Aniello of Italy earned his first Olympic medal and Italy's second silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Shooting competition. The first silver medal was won by Giovanni Pellielo in the Men’s Trap. After the final ended, D Aniello kneeled on the grass and cried tears of happiness when he realized that he had secured the silver medal.
The local favorite, Hu Binyuan of China, who finished fourth at Athens 2004, hit 46 of the 50 targets in the final to win the bronze medal. China also won bronze medals in Men’s Double Trap at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.
Both Hu and D Aniello shot the highest number of targets in the final (46 out of 50). The two other Olympic medalists in the final, Russell Mark of Australia and Richard Faulds of Great Britain, finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Shooting Day 5 Preview: Grozdeva shoots for third Gold
(BEIJING, August 12) -- Bulgaria's Maria Grozdeva will be shooting for her third straight Olympic gold medal in the Women's 25m Pistol at the Beijing Shooting Range on August 13.
Grozdeva will be seeking her sixth Olympic medal, having won gold medals in this event at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, and bronze medals in the 10m Air Pistol at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.
The mother of three won a gold medal in the 25m Pistol at the 2008 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with a score of 787.0.
Other top shooters competing tomorrow include the Athens 2004 silver medalist, Lenka Maruskova of the Czech Republic and China's Chen Ying and Fei Fengji.
Chen won every world title on offer in 2007 and will probably be Grozdeva's top challenger.
Lalita Yauhleuskaya of Australia and Jasna Sekaric of Serbia, the top-ranked players in the world, will also compete in the qualification round.