YANG Qian wins women’s 10m air rifle to clinch first gold of Tokyo 2020

YANG Qian of People's Republic of China wins the gold medal during the 10m Air Rifle Women's event on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Asaka Shooting Range on July 24, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan.
YANG Qian of People's Republic of China wins the gold medal during the 10m Air Rifle Women's event on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Asaka Shooting Range on July 24, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan.

People’s Republic of China’s YANG Qian the new Olympic champion in women’s 10m air rifle final at Asaka Shooting Range

People’s Republic of China’s YANG Qian won the first gold medal of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, holding her nerve to clinch the women's 10m air rifle title.

The 21-year-old edged out Anastasiia Galashina after the ROC shooter missed the centre two rings, scoring 8.9 on her final shot.

Yang scored 9.8 with her final shot to finish with an Olympic record of 251.8. Galashina finished 0.7 behind on 251.1. Nina Christen of Switzerland took the bronze medal.

As the first champion of the 2020 Games, Yang was awarded her medal by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.

"It's unbelievable that I can be here. I was really nervous. The competition was really tight, but I'm so happy that I could win," Yang said after claiming the first gold medal of the Games and for China.

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

But she had to keep her composure to do it.

"I didn't think too much during the match because I was very nervous and my heart was beating very fast, so I just tried to be myself and keep my emotions in control. Just concentrate on being yourself," the shooter added.

"I didn't care so much about the points. I just wanted to fix myself and fix my mood during the competition."

The field was open with none of the medallists in this event from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio competing in Tokyo.

While Yang and Galashina finished the qualification round in sixth and eighth respectively, Jeanette Hegg Duestad of Norway was the leader going into the final after shooting an Olympic record of 632.9. She finished outside of the medals in fourth place.

"I am very, very happy with my performance today," said Duestad. "It is so close and my qualification was really, really good.

"It is high scores in there, so I am happy with my performance and I only shoot tens the whole day, so I don't think I could do much different."

After a close final, France's Oceanne Muller, Mary Carolynn Tucker of the USA, Republic of Korea's KWON Eunji and PARK Heemoon finished in positions five to eight.

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