Finals Skeet Women

China's Zhang upset Cyrpus winning Skeet Women Gold, with a great coach behind her

ISSF World Cup Shotgun · Nicosia, CYP

The Chinese shooter outscored the Cypriot shooter Andri Eleftheriou in a shoot-off, shooting in the wind. But she gives all the credit to her coach, two-time Olympic medallist Gao E.

Zhang Donglian, 30, from China, won today's Skeet Women event at the 2013 ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Nicosia, Cyprus.

The athlete from Nan Chang secured the brightest medal shooting-off the Cypriot flag-bearer Andri Eleftheriou 7 to 6 hits, after the neck-and-neck Gold medal match, deluding the numerous Cypriot fans following the match at the range.


“The credit goes to my coach.” The Chinese shooter said. “I started shooting when I was 16. There was a shooting demostration at my school, and I was told I had a talent for it. That was just the beginning. Now I have a great coach behind me, who supports me and gives me confidence.”


Who is she? The coach of Zhang is Gao E, that athlete who won two Olympic Bronzes, in 2000 – shooting Trap - and in 2004 – shooting Double Trap.


Gao was not wrong that time. Zhang's got a talent for Skeet shooting. Today, she ranked among the top players since the morning's qualification, making it to the semi-final with 71 hits. Then, during the semi-final, the Chinese athlete scored 15 out of 16 targets. The same score recored by the home shooter Eleftheriou, 28, who had qualified with an equalled Wolrd Record score of 73 hits.

During the Gold medal match, the wind peaked up, affecting the scores of the two finalists. Both Zhang and Eleftheriou missed three targets, finishing tied with 13 hits. The shoot-off, a tie-breaker required to assign the Gold, decided the match in favor of Zhang.


The Bronze medal match was won by the winner of the 2008 World Cup in Suhl, Italy's Diana Bacosi, 29, who outscored the 2012 Olympic Champion Danka Bartekova 15 to 13 hits. Bacosi had qualified with 71 hits, scoring then 14 targets in the semi-final. At the same time, today it turned out to be an unlucky day for Slovakia's Bartekova, who had shot a world-record qualification of 73 hits, and then smashed 14 targets in the semi-final, finishing in fourth with 13 hits in the Bronze medal match.


“It has been great today. I won in spite of the wind.” Today's Gold medallist Zhang said. “I just told myself: hang on, stay focused, and I went from one target to another without thinking about the conditions.”


“My goal? I just want to be on the podium. The color of the medal doesn't really matter to me. I want to keep on improving my scores.” And with a coach like Gao behind her, everything seems possible.

Marco Dalla Dea


ISSF Partners