Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men

Austria's rifle champ Schmirl: a Gold in prone, a dream in standing.

ISSF World Cup Rifle / Pistol / Shotgun · Granada, ESP

Alexander Schmirl had lost a medal at the last shot at yesterday's 10m Air Rifle Men event. Lesson learned overnight: “I calmed down, and today I made it!” Brandt of Denmark followed in second, in spite of a wounded shoulder.

“I love shooting air rifle. The rifle prone is kind of my bad event. But today it has been just great!” The winner of today's 50m Rifle Prone final Alexander Schmirl of Austria said.


The 23-year old shooter from Vienna scored 209.5 points in the final, finishing atop of the podium to win his first ISSF Gold medal ever. Schmirl led the match since the first shots, winning then the final with a narrow margin of 0.9 points on Denmark's Carsten Brandt (second with 208.6 points). With 187.3 points, the Bronze medal went to Germany's Henri Junghaenel, 25, the winner of the first ISSF World Cup Stage of the year in Changwon, Korea. Belarus' Vitali Bubnovich, who had set a new world record of 630.7 points during the qualifications, was the first to be eliminated when the final started, and placed eighth with 80.9 points.


Schmirl had been competing in the 10m Air Rifle match yesterday, finishing in fourth place. A lesson learned, he said. “I have lost a medal in the 10m Air Rifle event at the last shot. Today, I kept on repeating to myself to calm down and not to think about it. And it worked!”


“I started shooting when I was 10 thanks to my father, who's the president of a shooting club back home. When I finished the school, I became a professional. I have been shooting for years, and these results are paying off.” The Austrian shooters said.


There's still one rifle event to go, here at the 2013 ISSF World Cup in Granada, but Schmirl is already looking forward to the next season: after a Gold in rifle prone, it's time to realize a dream in standing. “To qualify for the next Games is my big dream. This shooting range is great, the 10m hall is just perfect. I hope I will get an Olympic qualification chance at next year's world championship to be held here. I will work on that!”


If today's final has been a premier for the young Austrian athlete, this 50m Rifle Prone match turned into a comeback for Denmark's 49-year old Brandt, who had made it to his last final round back in 2006.


“It's great to be back, especially after the accident.” Brand said. “I had a car accident last September and I broke my shoulder. It takes time to recover, and that's why I have been shooting quite bad at the last world cup stage in Munich. But here in Granda, the warm weather helped me a bit to come back.”


Granada's weather might have played an important part, today, but also the new rules helped him to achieve a medal. The Danish shooter walked into the final in sixth place, with 626.2 points, four points behind the top players. But the qualifications score is not carried into the final anymore, and a great final score of 208.6 points lifted him on the second step of the podium.


“The new rules gave me new motivation. I started shooting in 1977, and since then only a few things had changed in our world. Now something is moving. I believe this new format is great for the spectators.” Brandt said. “Of course, it puts more pressure on the shooters, but I don't see that as a disadvantage. The kick-out finals requires new skills: you need to cope with the pressure, if you want to finish on the podium. It's exciting, and it's motivating. And it worked for me, today!”

Marco Dalla Dea


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