Finals 10m Air Rifle Men

Spotlight on Youth - Yang did it again: Munich means Gold

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol · Munich, GER

Germany is not different from the United States, according to China's Yang Haoran: he won the Gold in Fort Benning, he won the gold in Munich. 2 tries, 2 Gold medals - and 17 years old!

We had last greeted him in Fort Benning (GA, USA) - just two weeks ago - , when he was celebrating the 10m Air Rifle Gold medal, which he'd reached at his first try in an ISSF World Cup. We've just met Yang Haoran again: different place (Munich, Germany), same reason (ISSF World Cup). The outcome was the same as well: the Chinese 17-year-old shooter entered the 10m Air Rifle Finals – setting a new Junior World Record of 628.9 points during the qualifications – and won the medal match – defeating Hungary's Peter Sidi by a 3.7 lead (with an average higher than 10.5 points per shot, throughout the match). A result which drove him up to the highest step of the podium: one more time.

It's just the 2nd ISSF competition in Yang's career - turning out to be his second medal as well, at the incredible age of 17. Yang hasn't really been around the shooting world since a lot of time: “I can't even tell who's the best rifle shooter in activity, - he said - I've just started and I still don't know the other nations' athletes.” In 2000 – in occasion of the Sydney Olympic Games – Yang was watching the 10m Air Rifle event. China's Cai Yalin won the Gold medal, beating that time's current Olympic Record (696.4pts vs 695.7). That day, Yang was only 4 (!) years old, but – in 2008 – he started shooting, being inspired by his compatriot who had won a medal for his country - in Sydney. A few years later, Cai Yalin became Yang Haoran's coach. The two of them started their path together, coming to the first success in the 2012 Asian Championship – with a Gold medal.

What's their secret? “There's nothing but hard work, – told us the Chinese shooter – I'd train 3 or 4 hours a day. That's my formula: apart of that, there are no secrets. I'm just like the other shooters.” With a great team supporting him: “They take care of me, I'm glad I'm part of it.” And it's hard to be away from home, sometimes. That's why his teammates tried to fix this problem: just by the shooting range, there's a big tent where the Chinese team is cooking its own food. This way, Yang really feels like home, and the results seems to be pretty good. After the Fort Benning triumph, Yang told us he'd have wanted "to participate in more ISSF competitions in the future.” His dream turned into reality quite fast and easily. That's why Yang – here in Munich - just seized the opportunity and made another wish: “My final goal is to get an Olympic Gold medal.” Just like his coach Cai, his first role model.



Alessandro Ceschi


ISSF Partners