The Chinese team pocketed five of the six medals up for grabs on the first competition day, taking the women’s 10m Air Rifle gold with Wu Mingyang and climbing atop the men’s 10m Air Pistol podium with Wu Jiayu.
Fort Benning (USA), 9 May 2018 - The third stage of the 2018 ISSF World Cup Series delivered its first medals in Fort Benning, where the People’s Republic of China ruled the second competition day and won five medals out of two events.
10m Air Rifle Women
In the opening one — the women’s 10m Air Rifle event — the Chinese National Team swept the medal positions, taking gold Wu Mingyang.
The 21-year-old climbed atop the podium alongside her two teammates Zhu Yingjie and Zhao Ruozhu, as the trio owned the top three positions all along the match: after the first 5-shot series, indeed, Denmark’s Stine Nielsen was 0.7 points away from the 3rd place, a gap that reduced to 0.5 after five more shots.
There, the three Chinese shooters nailed an unbelievable series of 10s, distancing themselves from their rivals and igniting a three-way battle for the medals up for grabs: firing 23 of her 24 shots inside the 10th ring, Wu claimed the brightest medal with 252.2 points, while 18-year-old Zhu Yingjie — the 2017 Junior World Champion in this event, who previously signed a new Qualification World Record with 633.4 points — took silver with 251.8.
The bronze was awarded to 19-year-old Zhao Ruozhu — holder of this event’s World Record — who finished in 3rd position with 230.2 points.
Eventually, Nielsen followed Zhao and placed 4th with 206.9 points, while United States’ Virginia Thrasher — the 2016 Olympic Champion — took 5th place in front of her home crowd and scored 186.3 points.
The bottom position was finally taken by Serbia’s 31-year-old Andrea Arsovic — World Cup Final winner in both 2016 and 2017 — who placed 8th with 122.2 points and left the contest at the 12th-shot mark. Two shots later she was followed by Gabriela Vognarova (25) of the Czech Republic, who took 7th place with 143.3 points.
Both Arsovic and Vognarova were overtaken by 27-year-old Japanese shooter Shimizu Ayano, who then fired a couple of 9.9s in her 15th and 16th shot, concluding her match in 6th place and signing off with 163.5 points.
10m Air Pistol Men
The second event of the day saw Chinese shooters Wu Jiayu and Wang Meng Yi sign a gold-silver combination in the men’s 10m Air Pistol event.
Competing in the second ISSF World Cup of his young career, 21-year-old Wu crushed the 12th place he obtained at last month’s World Cup in Changwon (KOR), climbing up the table after standing in 5th place after the two 5-shot series.
Wu, indeed, opened the elimination stage by firing five consecutive shots inside the 10th ring — including a perfect 10.9 on his 15th one — and approaching the final 2-shot series 0.5 points behind his teammate Wang.
There, Wu nailed a disappointing 9.4 with his 23rd shot, to which Wang answered with an almost-equal 9.7. In the final and decisive shot, however, Wu Jiayu shot a fantastic 10.6, definitely overtaking his Chinese rival and pocketing the gold medal with 241.2 points. Wang, who sealed his match with a 9.6, took silver with 241.0.
The podium was then completed by Spain’s Pablo Carrera (31) — a two-time World Cup gold medalist in this event — who secured his seventh World Cup medal overall, finishing in 3rd position with 220.6 points, only 0.6 behind Wu at the time of the elimination.
Just outside of the medal position, Italy’s 43-year-old Giuseppe Giordano missed the podium by 0.5 points, taking 4th place in his 26th World Cup start in the Air Pistol event and finishing with 197.8 points.
The Italian experienced shooter was followed by the 2017 ISSF Shooter of the Year — Japan’s 42-year-old Tomoyuki Matsuda — who concluded in 5th position with 177.5 points, and by Vietnam’s 43-year-old Tran Quoc Cuong, 6th with 158.3.
The bottom two positions were taken by Ukraine’s Denys Kushnirov and Great Britain’s Kristian Michael Smeeton Callaghan (24): after signing the highest score in the qualification round, 25-year-old Kushnirov took 7th place with 137.3 points, while Callaghan placed 8th in his first final participation, scoring 110.8 points.
The ISSF World Cup Stage 3 in Fort Benning will continue tomorrow with two more finals: the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men, scheduled at 12:45 pm (UTC-4:00), and the 25m Pistol Women, scheduled at 3:00 pm.
Both finals will be streamed live on the ISSF website, on the Federation’s Livestream channel and on its official Facebook page.
Live results of the competitions, news and updates will be available on www.issf-sports.org and on all ISSF social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Weibo and Youku.
For the 10m Air Rifle Women complete results click here.
For the 10m Air Pistol Men complete results click here.
For the provisional medal standings click here.