ISSF News preview: interview with Monika Karsch

In the upcoming issue of our magazine, the German Pistol shooter addresses her path to Tokyo 2020 and the upcoming challenges of shooting sport.

Germany’s Pistol shooter Monika Karsch has been one of the main protagonists of the sports, during the last Olympic cycle.


The 34-year-old athlete from Regensburg (GER) finished in the spotlight in Rio de Janeiro (BRA), where she claimed the 25m Pistol Women Silver medal after a breathtaking neck-to-neck battle against Greece’s Anna Korakaki. Probably one of the best duels seen at the Deodoro shooting range during the last Olympics.


She did not make it to the highest step of the podium there, but she certainly proved great determination and skills, fighting right to the last shot, and gaining the applauses of the spectators following the match on site and watching at home. 


Monika arrived at Rio 2016 after winning two European Championships medals in 2013 and 2014, collecting an ISSF World Cup Final title in Gabala in 2014, as well as recording a great performance at the Baku 2015 European Games.


We had a chance to meet her on her home turf, for an ISSF News Magazine interview.


What are your plans for the rest of the season? Is it too early to set your sight on Tokyo?


No, it’s never too early to start preparing for an Olympiad! I took a six months break after Rio de Janeiro and in March I picked up my gun, started training and I competed at the World Cup stage in Munich in the 25m Pistol Women event.


I’ll be in Gabala this month and then I’ll focus on the national qualification for the upcoming European Championship in Baku (AZE). In October, then, I’ll take part in the German Bundesliga, where I’ll meet with many of my friends and rivals, like Zorana and Anna.


You and Christian Reitz won the Gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed event at the Baku 2015 European Games, an event that will probably be included in the Olympic program of Tokyo 2020. How do you feel about this evolution of the Olympic Shooting landscape?


I keep great memories of that event, the format of the final was very interesting and curiously we beat the Greek team that included Anna Korakaki… Now that the event is probably going to be included in the Olympic Shooting program it will surely raise more interest and more countries will try to set up good teams.


I’m very curious to see how the whole thing is going to be developed, the quota places distribution, the selection inside the national teams, or the number of teams that every country will be allowed to enrol. I can’t wait! For the tv audience it’ll surely be a funny new thing to watch, it will be interesting to see how teammates interact with each other. I clearly remember me and Christian shooting bad when the other one was shooting well and viceversa, it was very stressing!


Change was already happening in our shooting sport world, but IOC Agenda 2020 certainly accelerated the virtuous process. What do you think about the gender equality principle in sport? 


First of all, I feel sad for the colleagues and the teammates that saw their main event taken out of the Olympic program. They were part of the history of our sport and they will always be. At the same time, however, the sports world is evolving and we have to evolve with it.


We have to keep it appealing for the audience and for the sponsors. If we don’t, there will be no future for us. The complying of gender equality is the right thing to do, it’s good for our sport and it will attract more people to come and watch competitions, or to follow them on the tv or even to try it! Many young girls will find an interest in shooting sport thanks to this positive changes.


The full interview will be published on the 2017/03 issue of ISSF News, available soon for free download here:

Marco Vettoretti