World champion Jia Zhanbo raised up and waved to the audiences
after he made the last shot. A smile on his face, the Chinese
shooter knew that he would carry back to his country not only
another gold medal and an Arabic-styled wooden ship model, but a
long-expected Olympic ticket in men's 50-meter rifle prone
"I had full preparation before the competition," said the
33-year-old marksman, "I am here to nail down the ticket."
Wang Yifu, head coach of the Chinese national shooting team, was
delighted at the achievement. "He did very well in the final," he
said. "Getting this quota place is important for China's
improvement in the discipline of men's 50-meter rifle prone."
Altogether 15 disciplines of shooting sport shall be included in
the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games, and according to regulation
of the International Shooting Sport Federation and the
International Olympic Committee, each country and region could at
most get 28 shooting places.
To date, China has gained 26 of the total, followed by Russia
and the United States with 24.
Recognized as an overlord of shooting events, China, the Olympic
host country in 2008 was distributed 9 berths and got another 15 in
previous international competitions.
However, one quota place for men's trap, one for men's double
trap and two for men's 50-meter rifle prone are still missing, and
the eight-day Asian Shooting Championships in the gulf country of
Kuwait was the last chance.
The last ticket-wrenching battle was painstaking.
In men's trap event on Friday, Chinese shooters Li Hui, Zhang
Bing and Li Yang finished as the 15th, 19th and 22nd respectively,
seeing the three tickets of the discipline dropping into the
pockets of South Korea, Kuwait and Singapore.
A turning point came two days later, when Chinese shooter,
22-year-old Pan Qiang, captured the gold medal of men's double trap
with 189 hits, beating his rival with a slim advantage. "Finally we
got this quota place, which has been almost in our reach for
several times," said Sun Shengwei, coach in the Chinese national
Letting out a long sigh, Sun rose up from his chair and patted
Pan's sun-tanned face gently as praise. "This quota place could
give us more chance of winning," he said.
The first quota place was acquired by Chinese shooter Hu Binyuan
in the World Cup Surl Fort. "This very ticket held the sway in our
general deployment for the Olympics," he said.
In fact, another Chinese shooter in men's 50-meter rifle prone
had been so close to the other Olympic ticket of the event in
Monday's competition as to be once ranked fifth among the eight
contestants, but a 9.6 point in the next-to-last shot extinguished
his hope for the other ticket.
"After that shot, I told myself, the ticket was gone," he said
in disappointment, "but I did my best."
"It is sort of regretful to lose the quota place," said Wang
Yifu, "but we reached our goal by getting one."
In the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, China gained the most 26
quota places in shooting events among all competing countries and
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2007)