Xiong Yaxuan betters world record to secure women’s 25m pistol berth for Tokyo 2020

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GUANGZHOU, March 26 (Xinhua) — Xiong Yaxun excelled from the Chinese shooting Olympic qualification series with a victory in the women’s 25m pistol at the last stop here on Friday, surpassing the current world record by four.

“Of course, I’m very excited,” Xiong said after clinching a berth in the Olympic roster. “Everyone standing here wants to represent our country at the Olympic Games and has been giving it all for it.”

With only two Tokyo tickets at stake, competition has been fierce, with four shooters being likely candidates after the previous stops. Among them, Xiong led the tally with 190 qualification points. Zhang Jingjing was second at 151 points, only one point ahead of Xiao Jiaruixuan.

Xiong carried on the momentum from her win at the previous stop, scoring 38 in the first 40 shots and eventually finished at 44, four better than the world record held by Hungarian Veronika Major.

“All my teammates are capable of producing good results, but they are somewhat too nervous today. I am comparatively under less pressure, so I just tried to give my best,” the 2018 Munich World Cup champion explained.

Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympic Games for Xiong, and the 24-year-old hopes to get the details right in the four months to come before the Games unveils.

“I hope I can be 120% prepared and build up my confidence during the process,” she said.

The other ticket went to 18-year-old Xiao, who tailed the table when the elimination round began but rounded into form when crunch time hit. She finished fourth in the last stop, but secured the Olympic ticket by beating the 2014 world champion Zhang by one point on the total tally.

In fact, Zhang should have grabbed the last ticket to Tokyo given her ranking points in Friday’s final, but her sub-par qualification round performance earlier cost her two qualification points and eventually her second Olympic appearance. Enditem

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