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Poland’s Bres wins women’s 10m air pistol gold at Granada World Cup after dramatic shoot-off with Mexico’s Ibarra

Klaudia Bres of Poland claimed the 10m air pistol women title at the World Cup in Granada after a dramatic shoot-off with Mexico’s 20-year-old Andrea Ibarra Miranda.

Bres had led the final from the first to the last round, which she entered with a 1.6 point advantage over her younger rival, but after her penultimate effort of 9.3 had been answered with a 10.1 the difference diminished to 0.8.

As the crowd at the Shooting Range CEAR de Tiro Olimpico Juan Carlos I in Las Gabia clapped rhythmically in the background the Pole’s final scheduled shot registered at 9.7, with Ibarra raising cheers – and smiling broadly – after levelling the scores with a 10.5.

The Mexican’s rising excitement was soon checked however as, in the shoot-off, Bres scored 10.2 and she then registered a 9.8.

Bronze went to India’s 21-year-old Manu Bhaker, the 2018 Youth Olympics and 2019 Asian champion.

“I was trying to be calm, but it was really, really stressful,” Bres told ISSF TV. “But now I am happy and this is the most important thing for me.

“I have the European Championships coming up next so I will be trying to do my best and get a medal again. We have a gold medal from last year and we will be trying to get another one.

“And after that training, training, training…and Olympic Games.”

Ibarra commented: “I am so happy and so thankful for all the support I had. When I knew I was going to get a medal I felt a lot of emotion inside but I was able to control it.

“When I shot the 10.5 I was trying to focus on what I was doing but I did think a little about winning the gold!”

Bhaker added: “Everyone was shooting, everyone was done with their shots, and I was still holding, holding, holding there so it was very, like, full of struggle for me.

“I’m holding there and holding there but I am not able to fire, I am not able to move my trigger finger because it’s too cold and I am too scared. And then I’m like, no matter what, however it goes, just fire, just do what you can.

“So I am proud that I could manage, if not maybe one shot which was bad, then I managed the next one!”

Bres thus won a second World Cup title – as, earlier on the opening day of senior finals in Granada, did Slovakia’s 39-year-old Juraj Tuzinsky.

The 2021 European champion, who missed a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics by one place and also finished fourth at last season’s World Cup Final in Doha, ascended to the top step of the podium with a score of 244.2 with a late surge that took him past Lauris Strautmanis, who totalled 242.4.

The 28-year-old Latvian, a bronze medallist at last month’s World Cup Rifle and Pistol in Cairo, swapped the lead with Tuzinsky during the elimination rounds and took a 0.2 point lead into the penultimate round on the first day of senior finals at the World Cup 10m Rifle and Pistol in the southern Spanish city.

But at that point scores of 9.8 and 10.0 for a total of 222.5 saw him drop back to second place as Tuzinsky, who had topped the morning’s qualifying with a score of 585, shot 10.7 and 9.8 for 223.

Turkey’s 35-year-old Bugra Selimzade, second in qualifying, settled for the bronze medal with a total of 220.6.

It looked for a while as if Italy’s Federico Maldini, who won the final World Cup of 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, would take third place, but scores of 9.3 and 10.2 dropped him to a final position of fourth.

Switzerland’s 24-year-old Jason Solari, bronze medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, was fifth, one place ahead of Germany’s 2023 World Cup Final gold medallist Robin Walter.

Seventh place went to 40-year-old Bulgarian shooter Samuil Donkov, who took silver in Cairo last month, and eighth place went to a second Italian, Paolo Monna, who finished one place behind Walter in the Doha World Cup Final.

Donkov had secured the eighth and final qualifying place ahead of India’s Asian champion Varun Tomar, although the latter was competing only for world ranking points on this occasion.

Other notable talents who failed to make the cut were India’s Sarabjot Singh, who totalled 581, Latvia’s World Cup Final bronze medallist Emils Vasermanis, Serbia’s world silver medallist Damir Mikec.

Czech shooter Veronika Schejbalova missed a medal by one place in the 10m air pistol women’s final, with fifth place going to Austria’s 41-year-old Sylvia Steiner.

Egypt’s Tokyo 2020 Olympian Hala Elgohari was sixth, ahead of 20-year-old Heng Yu Liu of Chinese Taipei and India’s 20-year-old Asian bronze medallist Rhythm Sangwan, who had topped qualifying with 580.

 

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