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Final 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men

France’s Tokyo 2020 champion Quiquampoix and Sanderson of the United States earn 25m rapid fire pistol quota places at Final Olympic Rifle & Pistol Qualifier in Rio

ISSF Final Olympic Qualification Championship · Rio De Janeiro, BRA

France’s reigning Olympic champion Jean Quiquampoix, pictured, and Keith Sanderson of the United States secured the two Paris 2024 quota places in the 25m rapid fire men final at the Final Olympic Rifle & Pistol Qualifier in Rio de Janeiro.

The concluding event of the competition saw the Czech Republic’s Martin Podhrasky beating Quiquampoix’s compatriot Clement Bessaguet to gold in a shoot-off.

The two Olympic quota places were decided after the first elimination when the Czech Republic’s Matej Rampula, one of only three finalists eligible to win a place, went out.

The 24-year-old, who missed a medal by one place at last November’s World Cup Final in Doha, had topped qualifying, but he had a day to forget in the final as he managed to score only seven hits from his first 20 attempts.

He rallied with four out of five hits in his third sequence to come within two hits of Sanderson, but his third sequence of four misses did for his chances and left him shrugging his shoulders.

Sanderson was next out after losing a shoot-off for fourth place with Cuba’s 47-year-old London 2012 gold medallist and Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Leuris Pupo, but his task had already been accomplished.

Bessaguet, voted ISSF Men’s Athlete of the Year for 2023 after earning a second successive world silver, looked a good bet for gold for most of the final, taking the lead after the second competition stage and carrying a five-hit lead over Quiquampoix and Podhrasky into the penultimate elimination stage.

Four misses out of five then saw his lead trimmed to a single hit – 25 to 24 - as his Czech rival scored a perfect five, with Quiquampoix bowing out on 22 to take bronze.

Podhrasky maintained the pressure on the Frenchman by scoring four out of five in his final scheduled sequence to total 28.

Bessaguet reached his final shot holding a single hit lead after just one miss – but another missed saw him total 28 and trigger a shoot-off.

The Czech athlete went first, scoring three out of five – with Bessaguet taking the shoot-off to a second round as he matched that effort.

But Podhrasky produced a final flourish with a perfect five, with Bessaguet only able to score two.

“I am very happy to win this quota place today because my last season was difficult, so after a lot of work I am happy to win this place here,” Quiquampoix told ISSF TV.

Reflecting on the fact that this represented his second from last chance to win a quota place, he added: “It was a lot of pressure, because when the time goes you have no more chance.

“So it was difficult to shoot qualification and today in the final to win the quota place. Now it is done, the journey is done, so I am very happy for that.”

Sanderson commented: “I didn’t have a quota place, but it’s a country quota, so the way the ISSF does it is if an individual wins a quota it goes to the country and the country divvies it out the way they choose to.

“So we’ve already had our Olympic trials, which I won. Henry (Leverett) had got a previous quota at CAT (Championship of the Americas) so I basically stole his quota. So this is my responsibility to get him back one.

“I actually advocate for the ISSF to do individual quotas, so if you win a quota it’s a by-name slot. A lot of countries do that and I think it would make it easier for us. It would make it easier for us to understand this.

“I look on this event as the first World Cup of the year. So this is preparation for World Cup Munich, which will probably be the biggest World Cup of the year because it will be preparation for the Olympics.

“In each one you get to test certain training plans, so that was my intention here. Last time for the (Rio 2016) Test event I got a silver medal here, so I like this range a lot.

Asked if he thought Bessaguet had done enough to win the gold, Podhrasky responded: “Yes. I thought about the second place and he made mistakes. It was great for me!”

Podhrasky, who had already secured an Olympic quota place, added: “It’s a little bit of a hard situation for us because we have two shooters for one place. I have a quota place from a previous year.

“So we have a small shoot-off for this quota place. So I hope Matej will be successful next time.”

 

 

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