Olympics Sports >> Shooting

Shooting

THE 15 EVENTS

Men (9 events)

  • Pistol class (3 events): Air pistol (10m), Rapid-fire pistol (25m), Pistol (50m)
  • Rifle class (3 events): Air rifle (10m), Rifle prone (50m), Rifle three positions (50m)
  • Shotgun class (3 events): Trap, Double trap, Skeet

Women (6 events)

  • Pistol class (2 events): Air pistol (10m), Pistol (25m)
  • Rifle class (2 events): Air rifle (10m), Rifle three positions (50m)
  • Shotgun class (2 events): Trap, Skeet

THE FORMAT

  • For each event there are qualifying rounds, with 6 or 8 competitors advancing to the final, depending on the weapon. There are 2 different formats for the final.
  • The first format involves 2 phases. After a determined number of shots, there is an elimination phase, in which competitors are eliminated until the awarding of the gold medal.
  • The second format is also in 2 phases. After a semi-final round, the competitors with the best 2 scores advance to the gold medal final, while the competitors with the 3rd and 4th best scores advance to the bronze medal final.

MILESTONES

1410

Founding of the first company of arquebusiers.

1710

Target shooting gains popularity in the United States.

1814

Introduction of live pigeon shooting in England.

1858

American Samuel Colt develops the revolving cylinder system for the pistol. In Switzerland, the first shooting clubs appear and the first rules are drawn up.

1880

Introduction of clay pigeon shooting in England.

1888

The Clair brothers of France submit a patent for the first automatic pistol.

1896

Shooting makes its Olympic debut. It will only be absent from the programme twice: in St. Louis (1904) and Amsterdam (1928).

1968

Women are allowed to compete in Olympic shooting events for the first time. There are no separate women's events, so they participate in certain men's events.

1984

The first women-only events are added to the Olympic programme.

STARS

Oscar Swahn (Sweden)

The great veteran. In 1912, he became the oldest Olympic gold medallist by winning the team running deer event, aged 64 years and 258 days. The record stands to this day. He also took silver in the event in 1920, aged 72 years and 280 days, which means he is also the oldest Olympic medallist. He and son Alfred won 3 gold medals apiece at the 1908 and 1912 Games, all in running deer.

Karoly Takacs (Hungary)

A world-class pistol shooter, the Hungarian was involved in a terrible accident in 1938, when a faulty grenade exploded in his right hand (and shooting hand). Undeterred, Takacs switched to shooting with his left hand, and won team world championship gold in 1939. He went on to take Olympic gold in rapid-fire pistol in 1948 and 1952.

Zhang Shan (China)

A true champion. At the 1992 Games in Barcelona, the Chinese woman won gold in the skeet, which was open to both men and women. She thus became the first woman to win a mixed shooting event at the Olympics. However, Zhang was controversially unable to defend her title, as the skeet was open only to men in 1996 (the women's event was introduced in 2000).

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

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