10m Air Rifle Men Preview – Ready for the first shot!

1st Youth Olympic Games · Singapore, SIN

Less then 24 hours to go to the first rifle shot of the first Youth Olympic Games. Nervous, nail-bitten fingers have been triggering all day, training on the new shooting lines of the Singapore Sports School, where the first shooting competition will take place tomorrow morning at 9 AM.

Rifles have been tested. Air cylinders filled and emptied again. Targets were checked, and equipments controlled. All is ready, at the Singapore Sports School, for the debut of the Shooting Sport at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games!

The 10m Air Rifle Men event, taking place tomorrow morning, will be the first shooting match of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Twenty shooters,aging 17 and 18 years will compete, pursuing their Olympic Dream on the lines of the newly constructed range of the Sports School.

The match will start at 9.00 AM and, after sixty qualification shots, the best eight athletes will proceed to the 10-shot final round, the pathway to the podium.

Ukraine’s Serhiy Kulish, is probably one of the most experienced shooters among those competing tomorrow. The 17-year old athlete, who has been participating in international junior events since 2008, finished in the spotlights by claiming two Junior medals (a Silver and a Bronze) at the ISSF World Championship in Munich, last July.

Belarus’ Illia Charheika is also enlisted between the favourites. The 17-year old shooters made it into the Youth Olympic Games by becoming the 2010 European Junior Champion, but he also finished between the firsts at the 2010 ISSF World Cup in Belgrade, when he closed the 10m Air Rifle Men event in 11th place competing against older champions in the open category.

Asian shooters such as Gao Ting Jie (CHN) and Kim Yong (KOR) will attempt to stop the European athletes from sweeping all the medals. Gao was the runner-up in the event at the Asian Championships in Doha in December 2009, and Kim said that claiming a gold medal, in his pet event, is his clear-cut goal at the Youth Olympic Games.

The only African shooter in the event, Egyptian Hossam Helmy, is poised to cause an upset. The Egyptian ruled the African Youth Qualification Championships in Algeria, last March, , and has shown consistency during practice sessions since he arrived in Singapore.

The results of the match, starting at 9 AM Singapore Time, will be posted on the YOG results page

Marco Dalla Dea