ISSF World Cup Final Day 1 – Four finals on the opening day

ISSF World Cup Final Rifle / Pistol / Shotgun · Gabala, AZE

Yi Siling (CHN), Nazar Louginets (RUS), Monika Karsch (GER) and Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova (SVK) won the first four events of the 2014 ISSF World Cup Final, held in Gabala, Azerbaijan.

The ISSF World Cup Final in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun events kicked-off in Gabala, Azerbaijan, where 154 athletes coming from 39 countries are competing in the 15 Olympic shooting events from the 21st through the 28th of October.


Only the bests qualified to be here: the 2013 World Cup Final title defenders and the World Championship medallists meet the top-8 athletes of each event, selected through this year's ISSF World Cup Series.


Four competitions were conducted on Day 1: the 10m Air Rifle Men and Women events, the 25m Pistol Women event, and the Trap Women event.


The reigning Olympic Champion and World Cup title defender Yi Siling, 25, of the People's Republic of China, won the opening match, the 10m Air Rifle Women event. The young shooter finished atop of the podium with 207.7 points, beating Serbia's Andrea Arsovic, 27, who closed the round in second place with 207.4 points – just 0.3 points behind the Gold medallist. The second Chinese finalist, Wu Liuxi, pocketed the Bronze with 185.6 points. Yi Siling closed the world cup season in the best possible way after winning two world cup stages in Beijing and Maribor, this year. She's not new to the spotlights: the 25-year old shooter had already won the title twice before, in 2011 and 2013.


One hour later, it was Russia's Nazar Louginets, 25, who ruled the 10m Air Rifle Men event, winning the world cup title with 209.0 points, more than 3 points ahead of the 2012 Olympic silver medallist Niccolo Campriani of Italy, second with 205.8 points. The 2008 Olympic Champion Zhu Qinan of China followed them in third place with 184.2 points. Louginets, who's the current world rank leader in this event, had won two ISSF World Cup Stages this year (in Beijing and Fort Benning), and then clinched a Wolrd Championship Silver medal in Granada last September, qualifying to participate in his first ISSF World Cup Final here in Gabala.


Germany's 31-year old finalist Monika Karsch pocketed the 25m Pistol Women title, beating the Mongolian Olympic medallist Otryad Gundegmaa 7 to 3 points in the Gold medal match, after passing through the semi-final with 19 points. The German athlete had qualified to participate in this final by winning this year's ISSF World Cup Stage in Maribor, Slovenia, where she had gained her first international gold medal ever. Today, she was joined on the podium by the reigning World Champion Zhang Jingjing, 25, from the People's Republic of China, who secured the Bronze medal by beating Georgia's Nino Salukvadze 8 to 2 points.


Ten years after her first world cup title, Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova of Slovakia came back atop of the ISSF podium, winning the Trap Women event here in Gabala. The 30-year old athlete, who had qualified to participate in today's final by winning the ISSF World Cup Stage in Almaty earlier this year, beat USA's Janessa Jo Beaman to grab the brightest medal. The two finalists met in the Gold medal match, where 15 clays were not enough to decide the winner as they finished tied with a score of 14 hits each. In the following shoot-off, it was Stefecekova who prevailed, beating the US athlete 1 to 0 hits. Australia's Catherine Skinner reached them on the podium, wearing a Bronze medal won with a score of 13 to 11 hits against San Marino's Alessandra Perilli.


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