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Sharp-shooting newcomer Zhang Mengxue wins China’s first gold in Rio

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 1:36am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 10:36am

First-time Olympian Zhang Mengxue took home China’s first gold in the women’s 10-metre air pistol event on Sunday, while London 2012 and Beijing 2008 gold medallist Guo Wenjun did not even make it to the finals.

Promising 25-year-old Zhang scored 199.4 points in 20 shots, leaving Russia’s Vitalina Batsarashkina in second place with a score of 197.1 and Anna Korakaki from Greece third with 177.7.

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“I was feeling calm [in the finals]. The qualifying round was a tough one. Once I was in the finals I gave it my best,” said Zhang, who was proud of her achievement if a little surprised.

“I am a young athlete in the national team. I was coming here to train myself. Eventually I made it to the finals and for that I have to thank the support from the national team and everyone else,” she said.

Zhang reportedly got into shooting when she accompanied a friend to a practice session and was noticed by a coach at the time.

Guo, regarded as a much bigger hope for China in the shooting event, failed to reach the finals after finishing the qualifying stage in 30th place out of 44 competitors.