GUANGZHOU, March 29 (Xinhua) — Rio 2016 bronze medalist Li Yuehong endured two shoot-off rounds to claim victory in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol to earn his second Olympic appearance as the Chinese shooting team’s Olympic qualification series concluded here on Monday.
The 31-year-old wrapped up the final with a 5-hit shoot-off to best teammate Zhang Jian for the win with a total score of 31.
“Although I was lucky to win the gold, the result is not satisfactory,” said the veteran, who shot for 590 points in the qualification round on Sunday. “In the months to come, I will cooperate with my coach and stay Tokyo-oriented, especially improving my performance in the final. Hopefully, I can make some breakthroughs.”
Recalling the past 12 months under COVID-19 impact, Li confessed that life has been grueling for an older athlete like him.
“No matter in terms of energy, stamina, or training intensity; everything is tough. For me there’s also responsibility as a husband and a father, I sometimes had a feeling of powerlessness,” Li told reporters.
“It feels good to survive all these,” he added.
Li will compete alongside 2018 world champion Lin Junmin at Tokyo. The 24-year-old is still on his way to recovering his best form from a hand injury and finished fifth in Monday’s final. But high qualification points in previous stops ensured him a berth on China’s roster.
Later on Monday, the men’s 50m rifle three positions final that wrapped up the qualification series was probably the least competitive as Zhang Changhong and Zhao Zhonghao sat high on the qualification point tally before the Guangzhou stop.
The two finished fourth and third in the final respectively, and Yao Yuncong won a consolatory gold with 459.9 points.
Following is China’s roster for Tokyo 2020 pistol and rifle events:
Women’s 10m air pistol: Jiang Ranxin, Lin Yuemei
Men’s 10m air pistol: Pang Wei, Zhang Bowen
10m air pistol mixed team: Pang Wei, He Zhengyang, Jiang Ranxi, Wang Qian
Women’s 25m pistol: Xiong Yaxuan, Xiao Jiaruixuan
Men’s 25m rapid fire pistol: Lin Junmin, Li Yuehong
Women’s 10m air rifle: Yang Qian, Wang Luyao
Men’s 10m air rifle: Yang Haoran, Sheng Lihao
10m air rifle mixed team: Yang Haoran, Sheng Lihao, Yang Qian, Zhang Yu
Women’s 50m rifle three positions: Shi Mengyao, Chen Dongqi
Men’s 50m rifle three positions: Zhang Changhong, Zhao Zhonghao
Note: Sheng Lihao, Zhang Yu and Xiao Jiaruixuan need to achieve the Minimum Qualification Score for their respective events to be eligible for Tokyo 2020. Enditem