We're bringing you a round up of the news and excitement that took place for our shooting hopefuls over the first weekend of the Tokyo Olympics. By Jasper Fellows
After all the delays, all of the uncertainty and all of the heartbreak we are finally here. The Olympic flame is alight in Japan and the XXXII Olympiad, Tokyo 2020, has begun!
The stars of the shooting world have arrived in Tokyo to battle it out for those precious Gold medals, beginning with the 10m Air Rifle on 24 July and finishing with the 50m Rifle on 2 August. (Sadly Amber Hill tested positive for Covid and couldn’t attend.)
These games will be different. An opening ceremony without the roar of the crowd, performers dancing in an empty stadium and fireworks exploding with no one to watch.
This is perhaps the most sombre Olympic opening ceremony we have seen in modern times.
The opening show respects the sacrifices made by athletes over the last 12 months. But as they walk out, limited in number by the IOC’s Covid guidelines, we can see a spark of life return to the stadium. Now the athletes are under starters orders and ready to show the world that not even a global pandemic can stop the Olympic dream.
So what happened over the first weekend?
Seonaid McIntosh narrowly misses chance to shoot in Women’s 10m Air Rifle Final –
After an extremely close qualifying round Team GB’s only rifle shooter finished in 12th place, with a score of 627.2, missing out on a spot in the final by just 1.3 points.
Speaking after her performance the Scottish sharpshooter said, “I’m mostly happy with how I fought through it and while the last couple of shots weren’t great, I’m pleased with how I performed.”
China’s Yang Qian went on to win the event, and the first Gold Medal of Tokyo 2020, with an Olympic Record score of 251.8. She was followed closely by Russia’s Anastasiia Galashina on 251.1 and Switzerland’s Nina Christen on 230.6.
Seonaid still has a chance to climb the Olympic Podium in Japan, as she competes in the Women’s 50-meter rifle three position event on Saturday 31 July.
Team GB’s next shooting event will be on Wednesday 28 July, when Matthew Coward-Holley, Aaron Heading and Kirsty Hegarty will be hoping to make their way to the top of the podium in the Olympic Trap competitions.
While there were no Team GB athletes shooting in the skeet events we did, of course, originally have one lined up. Amber Hill, who unfortunately could not attend due to a Covid diagnosis.
Sporting Gun will be giving full coverage and comment of the shooting at the Tokyo Olympics in the next issue.