GUANGZHOU, March 27 (Xinhua) — Veteran Chen Dongqi could finally fulfill her Olympic dream after the 32-year-old won a ticket to Tokyo through the Chinese shooting Olympic qualification series.
China won full Tokyo 2020 quotas in both the pistol and rifle events, which means the top two athletes from the qualification series in individual events will qualify for the Olympics.
Chen came second in the women’s 50m rifle three positions final here on Saturday with 457.9 points, beating close rivals Wang Zeru and Gao Ying to secure a berth on China’s roster for Tokyo.
Shi Mengyao, who already earned a ticket with a big enough lead on the total qualification point tally, won gold with 463.0 points.
“I’m absolutely happy to qualify for Tokyo,” said Chen, who missed the chance for Rio 2016 finishing third in the qualification series five years ago.
“But I’m fully aware that I still have many shortcomings. If I’m going to the Olympics, I have to fix them to ensure that the hard-earned chance is not wasted.”
Chen had a strong opening, especially in the prone position, after which she stood first at 313.4 points. However, when the excited audience was busy guessing if she could best the world record of 464.7, she struggled in the standing position, and wrapped up the match with a surprising 7.7-point shot.
“I was not confident enough to stay determined in the standing position, and I thought too much when it came to the last few shots,” explained the 2014 world silver medalist, adding that she has not set a goal for her Olympic debut as she was not sure if she could qualify before this last stop in Guangzhou.
“In the following months, I’ll just simply trust my coach, and do my job in everyday training, get my feet on solid ground,” Chen said.
“I have been training with the national team for 10 years, and I’m already in my thirties. Now I don’t have unrealistic thoughts. I just think about the process, and if I can do it right, the result won’t be bad.”
Shi, who was excited about her first Olympics, told reporters that she did not have a specific goal either.
“This is my first Olympic Games, so I do not have too many thoughts. I’ll give my best and let’s see where I can reach,” said the 23-year-old.
Training under coach Du Li, the 2008 Olympic champion in women’s 50m rifle three positions, Shi is under extra pressure to succeed again.
“Undoubtedly we have high expectations, but at the moment what I can do is doing my best and learning from her,” Shi noted. Enditem