Former Olympic champion Olena Kostevych set her sights on another gold medal at Rio 2016 after winning the 10 metre air pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in the Brazilian city.
The 31-year-old from Ukraine, who triumphed at Athens 2004, racked up 201.7 points to claim the top step on the podium.
That was enough to beat Bulgaria’s silver medallist Antoaneta Boneva by 4.0 points as she finished on 197.7.
First-time ISSF World Cup finalist Teo Shun Xie of Singapore clinched a surprise bronze with 178.0 as rising temperatures made things difficult for the shooters.
After her success at the competition which is doubling as Rio 2016 test event, Kostevych, who also won two bronze medals at London 2012, was in high spirits.
“I feel optimistic about Rio 2016, even if this was just a test event it felt good to win the gold medal in the very same venue where the Olympic shooting competition will take place,” she said.
“Anyway, it has been a very difficult match because of the heat.
“Some things need to be adjusted before the Games.”
In the day’s other final at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro, there was a second title in two days for Spain as Alberto Fernandez won the men’s trap.
The 2010 world champion was one of two shooters to come through qualification with a perfect record on Friday (April 15) and triumphed in Rio after a gold medal shoot-off with Belgian Yannick Peeters.
Both men were tied on 12 points and seven additional targets were required before Fernandez prevailed.
The Spaniard has now won back-to-back World Cups after triumphing in Nicosia and has established himself as the Rio 2016 favourite.
“I’m happy for this second gold medal, and I’m glad that it arrived here in the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio,” he said.
“I worked really hard in the last months, and it’s really great to see that all that work paid off.”
Pablo Carrera had won the men’s 10m air pistol title for Spain yesterday.
Jean Pierre Brol Cardenas of Guatemala beat Czech Jiri Liptak, the other perfect qualifier, 11-9 in the bronze medal match.
The World Cup will continue tomorrow with the men’s 10m air pistol final.
- By Dan Palmer
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz