After struggling to climb atop the podium at last month’s World Cup stage in Munich (GER), where they only won one Gold, China stated their role in the Rifle/Pistol disciplines in Gabala (AZE), where the fifth World Cup stage of the season closed today.
In the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions final match, 19-year-old Chinese talent Shi Mengyao secured the fourth Gold medal of the competition for her country, grabbing the lead along the final standing position and finishing with the impressive advantage of 3.8 points.
By scoring 459.0 points, Shi also set the new Junior World Record in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event.
After leading the table at the end of both the kneeling and the prone position, Austria’s first-time finalist Nadine Ungerank (21) struggled a bit during the standing phase, but managed to claim the Silver medal with 455.2 points.
On the third step of the podium 26-year-old Stine Nielsen of Denmark scored 444.9 points, pocketing her second World Cup medal in this event.
Austria’s second finalist Franziska Peer (30) finished in 4th position with 433.4 points, firing a disappointing 8.4 in her 43rd shot and sliding outside of the medal positions.
Peer was followed by Switzerland’s 23-year-old Nina Christen, who entered the competition ranked 6th in the world and placed 5th with 424.5 points, while Shi’s teammate Zhang Binbin, the Olympic Silver medalist in this event at Rio 2016, finished in 6th place with 413.5.
Leaving the match after the 40th shot, Switzerland’s second final participant Petra Lustenberger (26) placed 7th in her second final appearance, scoring 404.0 points and losing a shoot-off against Zhang. Germany’s Jolyn Beer also left the final at the end of the second standing series, placing 8th with 403.6 points.
After pocketing the Bronze medal five days ago in the men’s 10m Air Rifle, Hungary’s Istvan Peni qualified for his first final in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event, climbing to the highest step of the podium and pocketing the brightest medal.
Nailing three outstanding prone position series, where he scored 52.1, 52.0 and 53.3 points, the Hungarian 20-year-old grabbed the lead of the match, and despite missing the 10th ring with four of his last five shots, he managed to maintain the top position and seal the Gold medal with 458.4 points.
After winning six World Cup Golds out of six podium placements, 28-year-old Hui Zicheng of the People’s Republic of China scored 457.4 and pocketed his first Silver in this event.
The Bronze was delivered to Poland’s Tomasz Bartnik, who qualified for his second consecutive final after placing 8th in Munich (GER) a few weeks ago. The 27-year-old scored 444.4 points and secured the first international medal of his career.
Switzerland Jan Lochbihler fired a bad 7.3-9.0 combination midway through his standing series, sliding out of the medal positions and eventually taking 4th place with 433.8 points.
Croatia’s Petar Gorsa entered the final with the highest qualification score, finishing in 5th place after losing a tie-breaking shoot-off against Lochbihler. The Croatian 32-year-old, ranked 10th in the world, scored 424.8, preceding Kazakhstan’s Yuriy Yurkov, who took 6th place with 414.0.
The first shooters to be eliminated from the final after shot number 40 was Serhiy Kulish (24) of Ukraine, who placed 7th with 404.7 points, and India’s first-time finalist Satyendra Singh, who concluded in 8th position with 396.7.
Winning four Gold medals out of 10 total events, the People’s Republic of China claimed 1st place in the final medal standings.
Those four Golds were signed by Peng Xinyi in the women’s 10m Air Rifle, Lin Yuemei in the women’s 25m Pistol, Yang Wei in the men’s 10m Air Pistol and Shi Mengyao in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, to which they added three Silver medals and one Bronze.
Austria’s claimed the runner-up position of the medal standings with one Gold and one Silver, while four different countries followed in 3rd place with one Gold and one Bronze: Denmark, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine. The only remaining Gold was claimed by Germany.
Four world records were equaled at the Gabala Shooting Club: People’s Republic of China’s Yao Yuncong and Serbia’s Milutin Stefanovic both equalled the 250.9 mark of the men’s 10m Air Rifle; Germany’s Christian Reitz scored 35 hits in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men final, matching the record set in 2014 by Italy’s Riccardo Mazzetti, while Denmark’s Torben Grimmel paired the 50m Rifle Prone Men record by scoring 249.8 points.
In the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men elimination phase, Chinese shooter Cao Yifei also matched the Qualification World Record of 1186 points, while his teammate Shi Mengyao set a new Junior World Record in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions match.
The 2017 ISSF Season will now move to Suhl (GER) for the ISSF Junior World Championship Rifle/Pistol, scheduled from June 22nd to June 29th. Also in Suhl, from the 22nd to the 26th of June, the ISSF Target Sprint World Championship will take place.