Final 10m Air Rifle Women

Air Rifle Women – Record Pfeilschifter grabbed Gold in a shoot-off

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol · Belgrade, SRB

The German shooter equalled the 10m Air Rifle Women world record to enter today’s final. Then, as she met an excellent Snjezana Pejcic in the final, she had to duel right to the last shot, and further more, to secure the brightest medal.

The German rifle master Sonja Pfeilschifter showed off at today’s 10m Air Rifle Women event, at the ISSF World Cup in Rifle and Pistol events held in Belgrade, Serbia.

The 39-year old shooter claimed the Gold medal after becoming the protagonist of an extreme competition, which kept the spectator’s breath from the first to the last shot.

First, the German shooter qualified for the final round with a spectacular score of 400 points out of 400, equalling the current world record for the second time in her career. Entering the final match in first place with a two-point head start on the followers, nobody doubted that she was going to finish on the highest step of the podium with ease…

But then, struggling during the final match and scoring twice in the ninth ring, Pfeilschifter lost her advantage on the followers, finishing tied to Beijing’s Olympic Bronze medallist Snjezana Pejcic (who fired today’s highest final score) with a total score of 503.5 points.

The two athletes met then in a shoot-off for the brightest medal: a one-shot duel to determinate the winner of the 10m Air Rifle Women match.

Pejcic, shooting first, fired a 10.4. An excellent shot, but not enough to keep up with the 10.5-shot scored by Pfeilschifter, who moved upon the highest step of the podium securing the Gold medal with a total score of 503.5+10.5 points, leaving Croatia’s Pejcic the Silver with 503.5+10.4 points.

The German athlete, one of the best rifle shooters of the world, had won her last world cup Gold medals last year, when she had ruled both the world cup stages in Milan and Munich. Taking some time off from finals, she came back today as strong as ever, showing to be ready for the forthcoming World Championship fight. The 50th ISSF World Championship in all events will indeed take place on the lines of the shooting range of Munich, her home venue, where she has been setting and equalling a number of world records throughout the last twenty years. There, she will have a chance to win in front of her supporters, and to grab one of the first 2012 Olympic Quota Places to get to London.

In Munich, Pfeilschifter will meet and face some of the strongest shooters of the world, as well as some of her skilled teammates. Shooters like the young Jessica Mager, 22, a two-time Junior European Champion, who finished upon today’s podium in third place, securing the Bronze with a total score of 501.3 points, about two points less then what scored by Pfeilschifter. Or like Beate Gauss, the third German finalist of this 10m Air Rifle match, who finished in fourth place with a total score of 500.4 points, just 0.9 points shy of grabbing a spot on the podium.

Belgrade’s is this year’s last world cup stage in Rifle and Pistol events, and the “Road to Munich” is getting closer to the end: the World Championship will kick-off on the 29th of July. Exactly in one month from today.

Marco Dalla Dea