Shooting global star YANG Qian: My journey to double Olympic gold in Tokyo

ASAKA, JAPAN - JULY 24: Gold Medalist Qian Yang of Team China poses on the podium during the 10m Air Rifle Women's medal ceremony on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Asaka Shooting Range on July 24, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ASAKA, JAPAN - JULY 24: Gold Medalist Qian Yang of Team China poses on the podium during the 10m Air Rifle Women's medal ceremony on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Asaka Shooting Range on July 24, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The 21-year-old won the first gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, adding a second one three days later. Find out more about China's shooting sensation, who became viral across Chinese media with her duck and carrot hairpins.

China's YANG Qian became an instant global sensation when she won the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games' maiden gold medal in shooting on Saturday 24 July 2021.

The 21-year-old claimed the 10 metre air rifle Olympic title sparking a gold rush in Tokyo, setting a new Olympic record in the process.

But she wasn't finished there, topping the podium once more in the 10m air rifle mixed team competition alongside teammate YANG Haoran .

Yang Qian was the first to complete the medal ceremony protocols at Tokyo 2020 , collecting her gold medal herself as athletes complied with anti-Covid measures.

So how did Yang Qian win two gold medals and where can you watch the highlights?

Scroll on.

YANG Qian's Olympic journey

How YANG Qian won the first Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020

Born in Ningbo, Zhejiang, on China's eastern coast, Yang Qian started shooting when she was ten and was quickly spotted as a gifted markswoman.

Dedicated to shooting, Yang was practising while studying at the Tsinghua University in Beijing, a third-year undergraduate studying economics and management at the time of her double Olympic triumph.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic she was taking online classes with the university which she also represented in shooting.

An Olympic debutant, Yang showed incredible mettle in her first event with a calm and composure well beyond her years to clinch the women's 10m air rifle title.

She shot a record score of 251.8 to edge out ROC athlete Anastasiia Galashina (251.1) in a close final round, with Switzerland’s Nina Christen (230.6) claiming the bronze.

It was a battle of nerves a between Yang and Galashina and after the ROC shooter missed the centre two rings, scoring 8.9 on her final shot, the Chinese sharpshooter closed it out.

Yang scored 9.8 with her final shot to reset the Olympic record at 251.8.

"It's unbelievable that I can be here. I was really nervous," she said afterwards. "The competition was really tight, but I'm so happy that I could win."

"I'm so happy that this golden medal is a gift to my country. I'm so proud."

YANG Qian wins first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights of the Tokyo 2020 events are available free to watch and on-demand here:

olympics.com/tokyo2020-replays

YANG wins second Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020

You might have forgiven Yang for being distracted by her sudden rise to worldwide fame, but she calmed herself once more for the mixed teams event final three days after winning individual gold.

A rare mistake in the early rounds saw Yang shoot in the sevens, but she recovered her form and put on a dazzling display next to teammate YANG Haoran.

The Chinese double act drew level on 11-11 before eventually overcoming the United States' duo of Mary Tucker and Lucas Kozeniesky by 17-13.

The U.S. pair scored no less than 9.8 throughout the competition, telling you just how good the Chinese two were as Yang Qian scored three straight 10.4s in the final three rounds to guaranteed gold.

With two gold medals and history made, YANG Qian also went viral across Chinese media with her duck and carrot hairpins, and they quickly sold out on all major e-commerce platforms all over the country.

Double Olympic Gold Medalist YANG Qian and her viral hairpin. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Double Olympic Gold Medalist YANG Qian and her viral hairpin. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
2021 Getty Images

YANG Qian at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Road to double gold

10m Air rifle qualifying (Top eight qualified, total scores below)

1. Jeannette Duistad (NOR) 639.9 - Olympic qualifying record

2. PARK Heemon (KOR) 631.7

3. Mary Tucker (USA) 631.4

4. KWON Eunji (KOR) 630.9

5. Oceanne Muller (FRA) 630.7

6. YANG Qian (CHN) 628.7

7. Nina Christen (SUI) 628.5

8. Anastasiia Galashina (ROC) 628.5

10 metre air rifle final

Gold: YANG Qian (CHN) 251.8 - Olympic Record

Silver: Anastasiia Galashina (ROC) 251.1

Bronze: Nina Christen (SUI) 230.6

10m air rifle mixed teams qualification stage 1 results (Top 8 qualified)

1.

YANG Qian: 105.3 105.6 105.3 316.2 (Individual Total)

YANG Haoran 105.3 105.0 106.7 317.0 (Individual Total)

YANG/Yang combined total: 633.2

2. Aneta Stankiewicz/Tomasz Bartnik (POL) 630.8

3. KWON Eunji/NAM Taeyun (KOR) 630.5

4. Anastasiia Galashina/Vladimir Maslennikov (ROC) 629.8

5. Marie Weisz/William Shaner (USA) 629.7

6. Yulia Karimova/Sergey Kamenskiy (ROC) 628.9

7. Mary Tucker/Lucas Kozeniesky (USA) 628.0

8. Eszter Meszaros/Istvan Peni (HUN) 627.9

Qualifying stage 2 results (Top 4 qualified)

1.

YANG Qian: 103.3 104.7 208.0 (Ind. total)

YANG Haoran 106.2 105.5 211.7 (Ind. total)

YANG/Yang combined total: 419.7

2. Mary Tucker/Lucas Kozeniesky (USA) 418.0

3. KWON Eunji/NAM Taeyun (KOR) 417.5

4. Yulia Karimova/Sergey Kamenskiy (ROC) 417.1

10m air rifle mixed teams gold medal match

Gold: YANG Qian/YANG Haoran (CHN) 17

Silver: Mary Tucker/Lucas Kozeniesky (USA) 13

Bronze: Yulia Karimova/Sergey Kamenskiy (ROC)