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Yi taking aim at a repeat

Updated: 2016-08-06 07:42
By Xinhua In Rio De Janeiro (China Daily)

China has two of the best female rifle shooters in the world, and both will be in the hunt for the first gold to be decided at the Rio Olympics on Saturday.

Yi Siling, the 27-year-old defending champion, said she is less nervous than four years ago in London.

"Pressure is always there, in every competition, so the only thing you can do is to know how to deal with it," said Yi, who won at least one gold medal in every World Cup event she entered until this year's Olympic trials, where she came up empty.

"There were some athletes not feeling good during the trials," said Chinese shooting team official Xiao Haopeng. "That fact caught our attention and we are working to solve the problem."

Du Li, who won the event at the 2004 Athens Games, is another contender for Rio gold after failing to make the final in London.

"More than a decade has passed since my 2004 title," said Du. "I won't push myself as hard as when I was young. I just want to enjoy these Games."

Xiao figures shooters will need 417 points to get into the final, and said more than a dozen competitors are capable of achieving that total.

World No 1 Andrea Arsovic of Serbia won gold at the ISSF World Cup in Munich this year. The 29-year-old is fighting for her first Olympic medal, and with compatriot Ivana Andusic Maksimovic they will be major threats to China's top tandem.

The Iranian team is also strong. Najmeh Khedmati, 20-year-old rising star, was champion at the 2014 Asian Games, where Yi finished fifth.

(China Daily 08/06/2016 page12)

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