Vitalina Batsarashkina wins gold in 10m air pistol with Olympic record

Batsarashkina wins ROC's first gold of Tokyo 2020 beating Bulgaria's Antoaneta Kostadinova who had been leading until the last shot; People's Republic of China's JIANG Ranxin wins bronze. 

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Vitalina Batsarashkina takes gold in the women's 10m air pistol with an Olympic record of 240.3. She beat Antoaneta Kostadinova (239.4) into second despite the Bulgarian leading until the very last shot.

Batsarashkina upgraded her Rio 2016 silver with ROC's first gold medal of Tokyo 2020. JIANG Ranxin of the People's Republic of China who qualified top with an Olympic record, won bronze (218.0). She had matched Greece's Anna Korakaki's three-year-old record of 587 points to lead qualifying.

Nina Salukvadze of Georgia made history by becoming the first athlete to compete in nine Olympics and announced her retirement to Russian media after failing to qualify for the finals.

The 52-year-old Salukvadze first competed at the 1988 Seoul Olympics for the Soviet Union, winning a gold and a silver. She added a bronze at the Beijing 2008 Games and became the first mother/son duo to compete at the same games with Tsotne Machavariani in 2016.

Salukvadze finished 31st in 10-metre air pistol and will compete in 25-metre pistol on Friday.

Batsarashkina, ranked 10th in the world, was third in qualifying and moved ahead of Kostadinova with a 10.7 with three shots to go. The 25-year-old Russian closed out with a 10.2 to earn the gold she just missed in Rio.

Kostadinova had some solid finishes after returning, but was ranked 45th in the world heading into the Tokyo Olympics.

Jiang was second, 0.9 points behind Batsarashkina heading into the closing shots, but had a pair of 9.2 shots and closed with a 9.0 to finish third.

India's high expectations for a big medal haul in shooting took another hit when Yashaswini Deswal and Manu Bhaker, ranked 1- 2 in the world, failed to get through qualifying.

Women's 10m air pistol results

1st Vitalina Batsarashkina, ROC,
2nd Antoaneta Kostadinova, Bulgaria
3rd JIANG Ranxin, People’s Republic of China
4th Olena Kostevych, Ukraine
5th LIN Yuemei, People’s Republic of China
6th Anna Korakaki Greece
7th Mathilde Lamolle, France
8th Celine Goberville, France

All the shooters in the final will be competing in the 25m pistol shooting event on Friday 30 July. For the full shooting schedule see here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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