With 153 places already decided, 192 of the 390 athletes will qualify for shooting events at Rio 2016 this year
is the sport that has confirmed the most qualification places at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games so far. A further 24 Olympic spots were decided in the fifth stage of the ISSF 2015 Shooting World Cup, which finished this Monday (18) in Fort Benning, USA.
The places will be allocated to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) of the winning athletes. The NOCs will then decide, along with their national shooting federations, if they will take up their quota and which athletes to send to the Games. Each country can have up to two representatives in each event at the Rio 2016 Games.
The US-based competition brought together more than 600 athletes, representing 76 countries in ten Olympic disciplines. Four of the events were contested by women: the 10m air rifle, the 50m rifle 3 positions, the 10m air pistol and the 25m pistol. As the majority of the medal winners at Fort Benning already had an Olympic spot, most of the quota places allocated as a result of the competition were won by athletes who did not reach the podium this time. One of the exceptions was Antoaneta Boneva, a Bulgarian who won gold (in the 10m air rifle), a silver and a spot (in the 25m pistol) for her country at Fort Benning.
“This World Cup in Fort Benning really ended up in the best way for me.” Boneva said. “I have been hoping for a quota place since the 2014 World Championship. I missed it there, and then again at the last World Cup, by one point. Finally, I made it here in USA.” Already through to Rio herself, Boneva guaranteed a spot for Bulgaria in the 25m pistol. “Fort Benning is my golden place. Last year I won here my first world cup gold medal, and now this… I definitely like this place,” she added.
Antoaneta Boneva won gold, silver and an Olympic spot for Bulgaria in the 25m pistol event (Photo: ISSF/Nicolo Zangirolami)
The men´s competition showed that a mixture of youth and experience are likely to vie for dominance at the Rio 2016 Games. In the finals of the 25m quick fire pistol event, the 23-year old German, Oliver Geis, the current leader in the world rankings, beat the 38-year old Cuban Leuris Pupo, the gold medallist at London 2012. Despite his defeat, Pupo guaranteed a spot for Cuba at the Olympics, as well as a winning silver medal for himself. Germany also booked another berth at Rio 2016, thanks to the performance of third-placed Christian Reitz. Oliver Geis had already won Germany’s first Olympic spot back at the 2014 World Championships.
“As I had already won an Olympic place, I didn’t feel a huge amount of pressure to get a result,” Oliver Geis said. “That made things a bit easier for me. I am really happy to have my colleague Christian Reitz alongside me on the podium. We train together every day and our goal was to win the second Olympic spot for our country.”
Aside from the 25 m quick fire pistol, competitors participated in five other Olympic disciplines: 10m air rifle, 50m 3 position rifle, 50m prone rifle, 10m air pistol and 50m pistol. Check out the ISSF´s website for a detailed breakdown of the results.
With the conclusion of the latest stage of the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup, 153 of the 390 shooting places available at Rio 2016 have now been decided. In April, South Korea hosted an earlier stage at which 24 spots were awarded to the tournament’s winners. Another 30 places had been decided in three previous stages of the ISSF Shotgun World Cup, which took place in Acapulco, Al Ain and Larnaca earlier this year. In 2014, 64 berths were won at the World Championship and 11 at the Americas Shooting Championship.
There are still nine qualifying competitions due to take place in 2015, with a further 192 Olympic spots up for grabs. For the remaining places, 12 will be determined in 2016, nine are destined to Brazil, host nation of the Games, and 24 will be granted as invitations.
Qualifying for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a continual process and the final places will only be confirmed in July 2016 (for the Olympic Games) and August 2016 (for the Paralympic Games). Places are recommended by national federations or the sporting organisations of each country and its respective National Olympic Committee or National Paralympic Committee, who will decide the final places.
Check out below the places obtained in each discipline:
10m air rifle (men): Serbia, Bulgaria and Austria
50m rifle prone (men): USA and India
50m rifle three positions (men): Kazakhstan and Japan
10m air pistol (men): Portugal, Ukraine and Turkey
25m rapid fire pistol (men): Germany and Cuba
50m pistol (men): Serbia and USA
10m air rifle (women): Greece, Mexico and Chinese Taipei
50m rifle three positions (women): USA and Kazakhstan
10m air pistol (women): Mongolia, USA and Egypt
25m pistol (women): Bulgaria and France