EXPLAINER: Shooting at Tokyo Olympics

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Things to know about the shooting competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

THE ABSOLUTE BASICS

  • There are three disciplines determined by the type of weapon used: air rifle (10m and 50m), air pistol (10m and 25m), and shotgun (skeet and trap).
  • Rifle and pistol competitions are held indoors with shooters firing at a stationary target from a set distance.
  • The 50m three-position rifle events require competitors to take aim while kneeling, prone, and standing.
  • Shotgun competitions take place outdoors where shooters fire at a moving clay target.

HOW MANY MEDALS?

There are 15 gold medals up for grabs with individual and team events for both men and women in all three disciplines.

WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO

The format was tweaked in Rio to introduce elimination-style finals, semi-finals and medal matches to spice up the event. Italy topped the competition with four golds, followed by Germany with three.

Korean Jin Jong-oh made history in Rio winning the men’s 50 meter pistol to become the first shooter in Olympic history to win a specific event at three Games in a row.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO

Filipino shooter Jayson Valdez. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jin, already the most successful individual shooter in the Games, will be favorite to win his fourth straight gold, while German sharpshooter Christian Reitz will defend his Olympic rapid fire title.

Men’s rifle three-position will crown a new winner following the retirement of three-time Olympic champion Niccolo Campriani of Italy, who has been training a group of refugee shooters.

Two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock will spearhead the United States’ campaign, while Georgian Nino Salukvadze will be competing in her record ninth Olympics.

The Philippines will be represented by Jayson Valdez in the men’s air rifle (10m).

WHAT’S NEW?

It’s the first time that three mixed-gender team events will be played in additional to the six events for men and six for women.

WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?

July 24 to August 2

WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?

Itsuki Iura of Japan competes in the 10m air rifle mixed qualification during a test event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Asaka Shooting Range in Nerima district of Tokyo on May 18, 2021. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Asaka Shooting Range, which hosted the shooting events of the Tokyo 1964 Games and is around 30kms away from the National Stadium.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Target shooting was popular in Britain and colonial America and it was one of the nine events at the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. Since then, it has featured in all Games except in 1904 and 1928.

WELL FANCY THAT

Hungarian Karoly Takacs was part of the country’s world-champion pistol-shooting team in 1939 but his career appeared over after a grenade exploded in his right hand. The army man taught himself to shoot left-handed and won the rapid-fire pistol golds at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics.

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Follow Inquirer Sports’ special coverage of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 here.

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