Final 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women

Jaeggi, 15, could become youngest Olympic shooting sport athlete after winning Paris 2024 quota place at Rio qualifier

ISSF Final Olympic Qualification Championship · Rio De Janeiro, BRA

Switzerland’s 15-year-old Emely Jaeggi put herself in line to become the youngest Olympic shooting sport athlete in history by winning a Paris 2024 quota place after finishing second in the 50m rifle 3 positions women at the Final Olympic qualifier in Rio de Janeiro.

The two quota places – awarded to countries rather than individuals - in the 50m rifle 3 positions men went to Britain’s Michael Bargeron, competing in his first international ISSF event, and third-placed Ole Halvorsen of Norway.

Jaeggi, who was born on October 13, 2008, took silver at the Olympic Shooting Centre after finishing just 0.3 points behind Norway’s 2023 World Cup Final winner Jeanette Hegg Duestad of Norway, who finished fourth in this event at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

After the first of the two allotted Olympic quota places had gone to Poland’s fourth-placed Aleksandra Pietruk the destination of the second lay between Jaeggi and her 25-year-old compatriot Chiara Leone, Duestad having arrived in Rio with a quota place already secured.

Jaeggi, who won bronze in the 50m rifle 3 positions at this  year’s ISSF World Cup in Cairo, maintained her composure in the penultimate elimination round,  matching her team-mate’s 10.6 to ensure Leone had to settle for bronze, 3.4 points adrift.

Another 10.6 with her final effort put the much be-medalled Duestad under pressure on her last effort, but a 10.3 from the Norwegian secured her gold, 462.9 to 462.3.

“It’s an amazing feeling but I can’t realise it,” Jaeggi told ISSF TV. “It’s – ‘what? I won a silver?’. I am so happy.

“I know that for some other athletes it is like ‘Oh my gosh! She’s 15!’ But for me it’s just normal. I can shoot like this and I don’t think about my age. To think that I could shoot like this, in this group – it was amazing.”

Pietruk commented: “I am feeling a little bit stressed now and my hands are shaking. I can’t focus right now – but it’s OK!

“It was really emotional but I thought it would be harder for me. On the kneeling position I was able to do what I wanted. On the prone there were – many adventures! But I love standing and I knew it would be the one that brings me the joy.”

The youngest athlete to have competed in shooting sport at the Olympics is Hungary’s Oliver Gaspar, who was 15 years and 252 days old when he competed in the 10m air rifle men at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Leone and Jaeggi are now world-ranked respectively second and third in this event.

With only three competitors eligible to claim the two available Olympic quota places in the men’s final, Bergeron, 30, knew he had achieved his objective once he had finished ahead of fellow challenger Jan Lochbihler of Switzerland, who was the first of the eight finalists to exit.

After finishing seventh in a final where an inspired Aleski Leppa of Finland beat world record holder Jiri Privratsky of the Czech Republic to gold, Bargeron told ISSF TV:

“When I realised I had picked up the quota place it was elation, relief.

“I came to this competition not 100 per cent sure in all of my positions, so for me this was going to be a warm-up for the European Championships, which are the last quota event for the 50m 3 positions.

“But I  had a really good day yesterday, qualifying with a British record (591 points), and then tried to do my best in this final.

“I actually put my screen, my monitor, in the wrong place and I couldn’t actually see it so I had to look at the big one. So I was aware of the movement of others around me and I just had to try and close out my portion of the shooting.”

Reflecting upon the fact that this had been his first international ISSF event, Bargeron admitted that he had slept “not very well” on the night before the final.

“I got a couple of hours here and there,” he said. It was my first major final and the second last chance to get a quota so I felt like there were a lot of emotions running around and jumping all over the place. I just had to try my best out there.”

For Halvorsen this was a first medal at an ISSF event. “I had team event medals but this was the first individual medal for me,” he said. “It was hard shooting, it was rough, but it was good in the end. I was not expecting so good a result.”

Leppa, who had finished fifth in the previous day’s qualification won by Privratsky, finished with 461.9 points as his Czech opponent totalled 459.9.

“I am very happy,” he told ISSF TV. “From the beginning until the end it was very good shooting. I actually had the easiest day compared to yesterday’s qualification.

“Today was my best shooting. I struggled a little bit on the ground today because it went really dark when the sun went in. But kneeling and standing was super-good.

“I didn’t expect to go all the way to the top, but here we are! Even though I already had a quota place I came along here as well because I need the practice, I need to be prepared for the Olympics, I need to be in the finals.

“So I think this builds confidence and I am more prepared for Paris – I hope so!”






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