The Chinese national anthem finally resounded in the finals hall of the Olympic Shooting Centre, where 25-year-old Zhang Mengxue claimed the Gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol Women event, becoming an Olympic Champion in her very first Olympic participation.
Mengxue performed an impressive comeback, as she failed to hit the 10th ring with her first four shots and followed with four 10.2-or-plus scores. The Chinese definitely claimed the top of the table at the end of 5th series, holding a narrow lead until a perfect 10.9 on her 17th shot sealed the victory.
“I am so excited! I am still felling the competition, I am still in that mood, and winning the Olympic Gold was my goal since I was young. Now I have it.” Said the Gold medallist. “I was pretty calm during the final, actually, because the qualification was already a bit tough for me.”
“It happened to be my mother’s birthday yesterday, so this will be the best gift ever for her!” Concluded Zhang, whose final score of 199.4 points set a new Final Olympic Record.
Vitalina Batsarashkina of the Russian Federation secured the Silver medal with a solid performance, and hitting the 10th ring with 10 of her 20 shots. The 19-year-old, also competing in her first Olympic Games, concluded with 197.1 points, overtaking Greece’s Anna Korakaki with a 10.1-10.5 combo in the 8th series of the match, earning herself the 2nd place.
“I feel very good, but I still cannot understand what has happened, so that is why I am so calm right now,” stated Batsarashkina. “We’ve been preparing for a very long time. That is why I can say that I expected to be in the final.”
Korakaki, 20, went through some ups and downs during the match: she shared the lead of the final with Zhang at the end of the third series, but since then she missed the 10th ring six consecutive times, narrowly surviving the elimination. After gaining her focus back just in time, Korakaki concluded with the third best score of the match, 177.7 points, securing the first medal in Shooting in the history of Greece.
“I am extremely happy about the medal. I was afraid of finishing in fourth as it happened at the Youth Olympic Games two years ago,” said Korakaki after the medal ceremony. “Having the experience of the Youth Olympics helped me a lot. The village, the media, the spectators… I had already experienced all that in Nanjing two years ago, and I was prepared to cope with the conditions of such a big event. The Youth Olympic Games are really a great experience for