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  1. History was made today as Sofia Raffaeli became the first Italian to win gold in the women’s individual all-around at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. The event also doubled as the first Olympic qualification opportunity for the rhythmic individual all-around event where the top three athletes qualified their nation to the games. The 2022 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships are currently being held in Sofia, Bulgaria from September 14th to September 18th 2022. The qualification round was topped by Italy’s Sofia Raffaeli whom finished with a total of 98.850. In the qualification round only the three best apparatus scores are counted towards your overall total. Raffaeli was the top performer in the ball and ribbon. The top performer in the hoop and clubs was Bulgaria’s Stiliana Nikolova whom finished just behind Raffaeli with a score of 98.200. The pair had an over 2-point gap ahead of third place Darja Varfolomeev of Germany. In the final, all four apparatus performances are counted towards your total, meaning there was no room for error. The top three from the qualification round continue to be the best performers. After the first two rotations Varfolomeev held a 1.050 lead over Nikolova and Raffaeli. However, a poor ribbon by Nikolova essentially knocked her out of contention for gold leaving Varfolomeev and Raffaeli to battle for gold in the final rotation. Varfolomeev held a 1.000 lead and had to compete in the ribbon while Raffaeli’s final apparatus was the ball. Varfolomeev had a 32.450 performance in the ribbon, but Raffaeli was able to counter with a 34.250 on the ball, allowing her to win gold with a total score of 133.250. She finished first in the hoop, ball and ribbon. Varfolomeev finished in the silver medal position by winning the clubs and finishing with a total score of 132.450. Bronze and the final Olympic quota went to Nikolova who finished with a total of 128.800. Raffaeli had a breakout season in 2022 where she won gold in the individual all-around at 3/5 World Cup events. She also added many apparatus medals to her collection including three golds (hoop, ball & ribbon) and one bronze (clubs) at this World Championships. The next Olympic opportunity for nations to qualify in this event will be at the 2023 World Championships.
    4 points
  2. While the 2022 European Shotgun Championships continue in Larnaca, Cyprus, another blue ribbon shooting event with places in Paris up for grabs is taking place in a very different European city. Wrocław is the capital of Poland's southwestern Lower Silesian Voivodeship, with about 650,000 people calling it home. The city will be hosting the 2022 European 25m/50m Shooting Championships, with places at the 2024 Olympic Games on the line. Hosted at the shooting range of Polish top-flight football club Śląsk Wrocław, which also has top-tier teams in women's football and handball as well as being the reigning Polish basketball champion. The top two places (with the stipulation that the same country can't win both places) in four events will earn a spot for their country at the 2024 Olympics: the 50m Rifle 3 Positions for both genders, the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol and the Women's 25m Pistol. The first week of competition will be dedicated to junior competitions which do not earn quota places, but preliminary competition for the Olympic events starts on 12 September for all events apart from the Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, which starts on 13 September. On 14 September, the finals will take place: firstly the Women's 25m Pistol at 11:00 local time, before the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol at 17:00 and the Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions at 19:00. The Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions final will take place on 15 September at 17:00. It is too early for a start list, but there is guaranteed to be a range of talent on show. At Tokyo 2020, out of the twelve medallists in these events, seven were European, although four of these were Russian and will not be competing. The other three Europeans to medal in these events were Men's Rapid Fire Pistol champion Jean Quiquampoix of France, Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions bronze medallist Milenko Sebić of Serbia, and champion in the Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions event Nina Christen of Switzerland. While finding information on participation is not the easiest, the Swiss federation has confirmed that Christen will compete, so we will see at least one Olympic champion. This event has a different priority than it did in the Tokyo cycle, coming first in the schedule for shooters in this event. In the Tokyo Games, it was somewhere in the middle of the calendar. The Czech Republic and Italy got a place in the Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions thanks to Petr Nymburský and Lorenzo Bacci, while in the Women's event it was Belarus' Maria Martynova and Denmark's Stine Nielsen. In the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol Italy's Riccardo Mazzetti and Azerbaijan's Ruslan Lunev earned a spot, while in the Women's 25m Pistol both places went to France thanks to Mathilde Lamolle and Celine Goberville, something that would be impossible this time around.
    3 points
  3. The Czech Republic's Jiri Liptak starred in a wonderful two days of Trap action at the European Championships (Shotgun) in Larnaca, Cyprus. With the top two in both the Men's and Women's Trap earning spots at Paris 2024, there was something extra motivating these athletes in addition to the potential of European glory. A total of one hundred athletes entered the qualification stage, although thirteen of these were not eligible to reach the final and in it for ranking points only. With five rounds of 25 targets each, the top eight would qualify. Tokyo 2020 champion Liptak lead with 123 hits, with Sweden's Rickard Levin-Andersson second with 122. Third would be decided by shootoff as Great Britain's Nathan Hales and Cyprus's Andreas Makri were tied for 121, while fifth would also be decided by shoot-off to decide between France's Clement Borgue, GB's Matthew John Coward-Holley, and Portugal's Armelim Felipe Rodrigues, who were all on 120 points. Most importantly, the eighth and final spot would also be decided by shoot-off, as Croatians Anton Glasnovic and Francesco Ravalico were tied on 119 points with Teemu Antero Ruutana of Finland and Erik Varga of Slovakia. The Czech Republic's Vladimir Stepan also got 119 points but was ineligible to make the final as a 'ranking points only' (RPO) athlete. Makri got the better of Hales in the shootoff to come third, while in the shoot-off for fifth Rodrigues with six got ahead of Coward-Holley with five and Borgue with none. Glasnovic hit three targets to beat out Ruutana on two and Ravalico and Varga on one to make the next round. Here, there would be two ranking matches of four athletes each, with the top two making the medal match. The first match was made up of Bourgue, Liptak, Makri, and Rodrigues; there would be twenty-five shots, although the athlete in last after fifteen would be eliminated. That happened to be Makri with ten, while it was a tight race in front: Liptak on fourteen, Rodrigues on thirteen, and Bourgue on twelve. But Bourgue missed his next three shots and could only post a total of nineteen, while Liptak (22) and Rodrigues (21) advanced to the final. In the other match, comprised of Coward-Holley, Glasnovic, Hales, and Levin-Andersson; after fifteen it was Glasnovic that was eliminated with eleven, with Hales in front with thirteen and both Coward-Holley and Levin-Andersson on twelve. But Levin-Andersson recovered, only missing one of his final ten shots to post a score of 21, tying with Hales, meaning Olympic bronze medallist Coward-Holley would not advance. In the medal match, there would be thirty-five shots, with last place eliminated after fifteen and again after twenty-five. After fifteen shots Rodrigues was eliminated with ten hits; both Levin-Andersson and Hales had twelve, but something special was in the works as Liptak had all fifteen. With the Czech seemingly uncatchable, the next ten shots would be crucial to decide who got the Paris spot. Both of them hit their next five perfectly, but both missed one shot. Tied for 21 points, they were separated by their score in the Ranking Match. However, as this was also equal, this meant they were separated by their score in the qualification match, and Levin-Andersson survived: a true reflection that every shot matters. But the Swede would have to settle for silver: while he was battling with Hales, Liptak had extended his perfect run: with five shots to go the Czech led 30-25. That meant he just needed to get the next shot to guarantee it and he did, a "golden hit" stopping the contest early and winning gold with a perfect 31 out of 31 in the final. The quotas then went to the Czech Republic and Sweden. On the women's side, it was a somewhat less crowded field, with forty-five athletes, three of whom were RPO. Italy's Silvana Stanco got 119 hits in qualifying, with Portugal's Maria Ines Coelho de Barros and Italy's Giulia Grassia tied for 118. France's Carole Cormenier, Lucy Charlotte Hall of Great Britain, and Jessica Rossi of Italy were tied for fourth with 117 points, while two Spaniards: Fatima Galvez and Mar Molne Magrina were tied for seventh with 116. Grassia hit six targets in the shootoff ahead of Coelho de Barros with five to confirm an Italian 1-2, while Hall won her shoot-off for fourth with three targets ahead of Cormenier on two and Rossi on one. Galvez hit one target to beat Molne Magrina on none. This meant that both European medallists in Tokyo 2020: champion Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova of Slovakia (10th, 114) and bronze medallist Alessandra Perilli of San Marino (24th, 110) were casualties of the qualification stage. The first ranking match was made up of Coelho de Barros, Cormenier, Galvez, and Stanco. After fifteen it was the French athlete who was eliminated, missing four of her first five shots and registering a total of nine. At this stage, Stanco was way in front with a perfect fifteen, with both Coelho de Barros and Galvez on eleven. But Coelho de Barros missed three of her next four and then her last three to register only fifteen in total, with Galvez coming second with twenty, safely behind Stanco who managed an impressive twenty-four. In the other ranking match, composed of Grassia, Hall, Molne Magrina and Rossi, Grassia was eliminated early with just nine of her first fifteen, while Molne Magrina was off in front with thirteen, just ahead of Hall and Rossi on twelve. However, the Spaniard faltered, hitting just four of the final ten shots to register a total of seventeen, with Rossi on twenty and Hall on nineteen qualifying. Into the medal match then, and the quality was evident from the start. Galvez was eliminated after fifteen due to only hitting ten: Hall lead on fourteen with the Italians on thirteen each. But Rossi missed three of her next five and could only recover to twenty, with Hall on 21 and Stanco on 22. Hall hit the next ten perfectly to end on 31 and put the pressure on Stanco... but the Italian held her nerve to do the same and pip the Brit into second with 32. This meant that the women's quotas went to Italy and Great Britain. So the first qualifiers for shooting have been decided: on the men's side, the Czech Republic and Sweden, and on the women's side, Italy and Great Britain. On 8 September, qualifying for the Men's and Women's Skeet will begin, the other events with Olympic quotas to be decided in Larnaca. The next chance for European (and indeed any) trap shooters will be at the 2022 World Championship (Shotgun) in Osijek, Croatia, which starts next month. Patrick Green Writer, Totallympics News
    3 points
  4. Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and United States’ Kirra Pinkerton were crowned champions today at the World Surfing Games. The event was held at Huntington Beach, United States from September 16th to September 24th 2022. 2020 Olympic silver medalist Igarashi had a perfect competition where he finished first in all eight rounds on route to winning gold. In the final, he finished ahead of Indonesia’s Rio Waida and Australia’s Jackson Baker whom won silver and bronze. Pinkerton had a similar experience, never being relegated to the second chance repechage bracket as she finished either first or second in all of her heats. In the final, her score of 13.63 barely edged out France’s Pauline Ado’s score of 13.00. The bronze medal was won by Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons. The event doubled as the first opportunity for nations to qualify to the 2024 Olympics. The highest ranked nation from the men’s and women’s team points ranking qualified a spot to the games. Up to three surfers contribute to their nation’s ranking based on the placing they achieved with the winner getting 1000 points, second receiving 860 points, third obtaining 730 points and so on. Buoyed by their individual championship title, the winner of the team points competition was Japan for the men and the United States for the women. The Olympic quota is awarded to the nation and it is up to the respective National Olympic Committee to choose which athlete will compete. As a reminder, despite the 2022 World Surfing Games occurring first, it is actually lower on the quota hierarchy which could have some implications. Should the nations which won a quota today win a third quota from the team points ranking at the 2024 World Surfing Games, the quota won here will be reallocated to the second-place nation, specifically the United States for the men and Australia for the women. The next opportunity for surfers to qualify to the Olympics will be at the 2023 World Surfing Games.
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  5. Bulgaria will get to defend its Olympic title after winning the Group All-Around title for the first time since 2014 at the World Championships. In terms of Olympic qualification, the top three nations in the group all-around final qualify a team of five athletes to the games. The 2022 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships are currently being held in Sofia, Bulgaria from September 14th to September 18th 2022. The host nation, performed consistently well in both apparatuses, scoring a 33.800 in the five hoops and a 32.800 in the three ribbons + two balls for an overall score of 66.600. The 3 ribbons + 2 balls performance was the difference maker as they finished two points clear over second place Israel and were the only two nations to finish with a score above 30. Israel finished with a total score of 64.650 while Spain grabbed the third and final quota thanks to a 63.200 performance. The Bulgarian team was made up of an entirely new group from the team which won gold in Tokyo. The team included Sofia Ivanova, Kamelia Petrova, Rachel Stoyanov, Radina Tomova, Zhenina Trashlieva and Margarita Vasileva. Pre-tournament favourites Italy had a relatively poor performance in the 3 ribbons + 2 balls and while they were the best team in the 5 hoops, it was not enough and they finished fourth. Italy and other nations will have other opportunities to qualify to the Olympics, with the next one being the 2023 World Championships.
    2 points
  6. Gymnastics will know its first Olympic qualifiers over the next few days as the 2022 FIG Rhythmic World Championships take place in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Armeets Arena in Sofia is perhaps best known as home to the Bulgarian volleyball team, as well as the ATP Sofia Open tennis tournament, but in the coming week some of the best rhythmic gymnasts in the world will compete. Up for grabs are three places each in the Individual and Group competitions (only women compete in this discipline). It should be noted that there are at most two places in the individual competition per NOC, and hosts France are already guaranteed of one individual and one group place, although they are unlikely to cause too many headaches here. Looking at the individual lists, it's a whole new look for the Israeli team, with Olympic champion Linoy Ashram retiring from the sport earlier this year, and Nicol Zelikman, who finished 7th in Tokyo also calling quits on elite competition. However, blue and white hopes will instead be put on Daria Atamanov, whose European gold earlier this year showed she was worthy of carrying Ashram's torch. Adi Asya Katz, who came 11th in Tel Aviv, is also on the Israeli team. In fact, none of the three medallists will be in Sofia, as Dina Averina (ROC) and Alina Harnasko (Belarus) both come from countries that are banned from competing. Other Tokyo finalists will be there, with home favourite Boryana Kaleyn, who came fifth in Tokyo, considered Atamanov's greatest threat for gold: she was runner-up at the Europeans in Tel Aviv. Considering that the ten finalists in Tokyo were all European, it is hard not to consider that a warm-up for this week's event, and other athletes including bronze medallist Stiliana Nikolova (Bulgaria), Sofia Raffaeli (Italy) and Darja Varfolomeev (Germany) will be hoping for a quota place. Sixty-two countries representing all five continents will be represented in Sofia, all bar Venezuela have at least one individual: in total, eighty-two athletes will enter. In the group competition, Bulgaria won gold in Tokyo and it's of course natural to focus on them first especially considering the venue, but an all-new group will take part this time, comprising of none of the Olympic champions. Bulgaria still came fourth in Tel Aviv, where Israel won gold. There will be a fair heap of pressure of course, especially with a home crowd watching, including the champions. Israel are another big contender, coming sixth in Tokyo. Silver medallists the ROC of course are absent, but Olympic bronze medallists and European runners-up Italy will hope to medal here too. Azerbaijan came tenth in Tokyo, but a bronze in Tel Aviv means they will have to be considered. Moving away from Europe, the Asian trio of Uzbekistan, Japan, and China will be hoping to cause a splash, although a medal may be beyond their reach somewhat. Twenty-nine groups compete in total, with Africa the only continent left out: Angola, Egypt, and South Africa instead focusing on individual competition. The individual qualification begins on September 14, with the final on September 17. The group event is on September 16. Patrick Green Writer, Totallympics News
    2 points
  7. Further information on the process for Sailing and Volleyball qualifying to the Olympic Games in Paris has been confirmed over the last few days. Sailing The main addition to Sailing's procedures is confirmation that the 2024 Last Chance Regatta is now confirmed to take place in Hyeres, France, on 18-27 April 2024. The event will qualify five boats each in the Windsurfing and Kite competitions (for each gender), four in the Mixed Dinghy event, and three in every other event. Furthermore, a few continental qualifiers have been released. The European qualifiers include the 2023 Formula Kite European Championships (Portsmouth, GBR, 16-24 Sep 2023), the 2023 European Championship (Vilamoura, POR, 10-15 Oct 2023) for 49er, FX, and Nacra 17 events, while the 2024 World Championships (Lanzarote, ESP, 26 Jan-3 Feb 2024) will serve as the qualifying for iQFOiL events, where as the 2024 ILCA Senior European Championship and Open European Trophy (Athens, GRE, 16-23 Feb 2024) and the 2024 World Championships (Palma, ESP, 24 Feb-3 Mar 2024) will be the qualifier for the 470 class. Furthermore, the 2023 Pan American Games (Santiago, CHI, 20 Oct-10 Nov 2023) will be the qualifier for both the Central and South American, and North American and Caribbean zones, for all events bar the MX Dinghy, which will have its own qualifier, details of which remain unconfirmed. No details have been released for the Africa, Asia, or Oceania zones. Finally, another qualification event, the 2024 ILCA 7 World Championships has been confirmed to take place in Adelaide, Australia, from 24-31 January 2024, while the 2024 ILCA 6 World Championships has been confirmed to take place in Mar del Plate, Argentina, on a date to be confirmed. Volleyball Volleyball has made a slight alteration to its qualification system. In the Qualification Tournaments, the system used to say that the top 24 out of the ranking of 12 September 2022 for men and 17 October 2022 would participate. However, this has now been updated so that 21 of the 24 teams would come from this set of countries, while the other three would be host federations, instead selected from the rankings of 20 September 2021. Athletics remains the only sport not have its qualification system confirmed. Patrick Green Writer, Totallympics News
    2 points
  8. The 2022 European Championships (Shotgun) in Larnaca have had their final Olympic spots decided with two spots each being earned in the Men's and Women's Skeet. NOCs came into this event knowing that if they qualified one man and one woman they would also guarantee a spot in the mixed team event. Starting with the men's side, 78 athletes entered, although nine of these were "Ranking Points Only" (RPO) entries, which meant they couldn't progress from qualification or earn a spot at the Games. The first round was a qualification round, with eight athletes progressing, and 125 targets to shoot. Leading the way was Eric Delaunay of France with 124 hits, with GB's Ben Llewellin in second with 123. Jesper Hansen of Denmark and Luigi Lodde of Italy were tied for third on 122 hits, sending it to a marathon shoot-off: Lodde finally winning it: twenty hits to nineteen. Also on 122 hits was Georgios Achilleos of Cyprus, but as a Ranking Points Only athlete he did not enter the shoot-off and finished fifth. The next seven athletes all got 121 hits, and apart from another Cypriot RPO, Andreas Chasikos, who finished twelfth, the top four of the remaining six in the shoot-off would qualify. In the first shoot-off, Jakub Tomecek of the Czech Republic qualified in sixth with twelve hits, while Mikola Milchev of Ukraine came seventh with ten, and Tammaro Cassandro of Italy came eighth with nine. But the Czech Republic's Tomas Nydrle, Georgia's Yaroslav Startsev and Dainis Upelniks of Latvia were all tied on just one hit. There would be another shoot-off for ninth and the final spot: but both Nydrle and Startsev managed two, while Upelniks could just get one. So Upelniks was eliminated in eleventh, and a third shoot-off was necessary for Nydrle and Startsev, which the Georgian finally took 4-3. Achilleos aside, the remaining eight of the top nine then progressed to the Ranking Round, in which they would be split into two matches of four. The lowest-placed athlete after twenty hits would be eliminated in both matches, with the remaining three continuing until thirty hits were completed: the top two would go through, while third would also be eliminated. The first match was composted of Cassandro, Delaunay, Lodde, and Tomecek. And after twenty hits it was Delaunay and Lodde that led the way with nineteen hits, while Cassandro and Tomecek were on eighteen: Tomecek survived due to finishing higher in the shoot-off. After that though, the Czech held his nerve while others faltered, hitting a perfect ten out of his last ten to finish on 28. Lodde also finished on 28, but Delaunay missed two of his last ten to be eliminated on 27. In the other Ranking Match; Hansen, Llewellin, Milchev and Startsev were the four to face off. After twenty shots, Hansen led with nineteen, with Llewellin and Startsev on eighteen, Milchev was eliminated with sixteen. All three remaining hit nine of their next ten, so Hansen went through on 28, but Llewellin and Startsev had to shoot-off for 2nd on 27. The Briton took it 4-3 and advanced to the medal match. So it would be Hansen, Llewellin, Lodde and Tomecek in the final: whoever was last after twenty shots would be eliminated in fourth, then of the remaining three whoever was last after thirty would be eliminated and take the bronze medal, finally, whoever was ahead after forty would win gold. Twenty shots in and Lodde and Tomecek had gone without a single miss, while Llewellin was on nineteen, Hansen was eliminated with seventeen. Lodde then hit his next ten to extend his perfect run to thirty, while Tomecek missed just one to bring his total to 29. Llewellin missed two and was eliminated with a bronze medal on 27. In the final ten shots, Tomecek missed just one while Lodde's resolve finally broke and he missed two, meaning they tied on 38 apiece. In a gruelling shoot-off, which seemed to go on forever, Tomecek finally came out the winner 20-19. So gold for the Czech Republic and silver for Italy, and those two countries get a quota place. Over to the women's side and there were 35 entrants, none of which were "RPO"s. Germany's Nadine Messerschmidt topped qualifying with 119 hits, ahead of Danka Bartekova of Slovakia in second with 117. Five athletes were tied for 116, with Diana Bacosi of Italy in third, Konstantia Nikolaou of Cyprus in fourth, Barbora Sumova of the Czech Republic in fifth, Amber Hill of Great Britain in sixth and Lucie Anastassiou of France in seventh after the shoot-offs. More dramatic was the six-way tie for eighth on 114, with Marjut Heinonen of Finland winning the shoot-off to get the last spot, ahead of Martina Bartolomei and Chiara Cainero, both of Italy, Nele Wissmer of Germany, Victoria Larsson of Sweden and Jessica Louise Burgess of Great Britain. The first Ranking Match was made up of Anastassiou, Bacosi, Messerschmidt, and Sumova, and after twenty hits Messerschmidt led with eighteen ahead of Bacosi on seventeen, with Sumova and Anastassiou on fifteen: the Czech survived based on the qualification performance. Bacosi hit all of her next ten to qualify first with 27, and Messerschmidt joined her with 25 despite missing three of her final ten: Sumova missed one to finish on 24. In the other ranking match, which was composed of Bartekova, Heinonen, Hill, and Nikolau, Hill put on a special display, hitting all twenty of her first targets to lead with Bartekova also impressive on nineteen. Nikolau survived on seventeen while Heinonen on sixteen was eliminated. Nikolau had no answer though as both Hill and Bartekova hit their final ten to finish with a perfect thirty and a 29 respectively, while the Cypriot could only hit seven and was eliminated on 24. So off to the final then, which could be composed of Bacosi, Bartekova, Hill, and Messerschmidt and it was ultra-competitive from the start: after twenty shots, Messerschmidt had hit a perfect twenty while Hill, Bartekova, and Bacosi were all on nineteen: the Italian eliminated due to her inferior ranking round score. The next ten were perfect from Hill while Bartekova and Messerschmidt could only manage eight: this meant that Hill now led on 29, Messerschmidt was on 28, and Bartekova was eliminated on 27. In the final round, Hill had hit nine out of ten to finish on 38 while Messerschmidt hit her first nine to bring herself up to 37. She just needed to hit the final target to force a shoot-off, but missed to hand Hill the gold and Great Britain the first quota place. Messerschmidt still earned silver and a quota place of her own to Germany. That is the last of the Olympic qualification events from Larnaca then, on a day where the Czech Republic and Italy won quotas in the men's skeet, and Great Britain and Germany did so in the women's. The 25/50m European Championships are underway in Poland with Olympic qualification events soon to start. The next chance athletes will get in these events is the 2022 World Championships (Shotgun) in Osijek, Croatia.
    2 points
  9. Eight more spots at Paris 2024 have been confirmed in the sport of Shooting, as the 2022 European Championships (25m/50m) took place in Wrocław, Poland. The top-two placing athletes in each event, with the stipulation that they can't be from the same NOC, earned a spot for their country in Paris. The four events were the Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol, the Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, and the Women's 25m Pistol. Starting on the men's side, with the 50m Rifle 3 Positions, and to whittle down a large start list an elimination relay was held: there it was Norway's Simon Claussen (594) and Jon-Hermann Hegg (592) that impressed with a 1-2. With the final 36 athletes known, including three ranking points only (RPO) shooters, qualification was next, and the top eight would qualify with two hundred shots in each of the three positions, for a total of six hundred. In the end it was Lithuania's Karolis Girulis with a 593-38x, just ahead of Petr Nymbursky of the Czech Republic on 593-36x. Croatia's Miran Maricic (591) and Nymbursky's compatriot Jiri Privratsky (590-39x) were next, just ahead of Bulgarian Anton Rizov (590-38x), Slovakian Patrik Jany (590-36x). Hegg (590-34x) and Claussen (589-39x) were the last qualifiers, with five other athletes on 589 just missing out: Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine (35x), Frantisek Smetana of the Czech Republic (33x; he was an "RPO" athlete anyway), Petar Gorsa of Croatia (30x), Christoph Duerr of Switzerland (29x), and Ole Martin Halvorsen of Norway (28x). In the ranking round, with decimal scoring, the quota spots would be decided, as the top two would go to a gold medal match. Two series would be fired in each position, then the bottom two would be eliminated; a third series would be fired in the standing position, and two more would be eliminated, and then one final standing series to determine the final two of the four. Jany was down after the kneeling phase but recovered in the prone and standing section, pulling him away from Girulis (303.8) and Rizov (302.9). In the next stage, Claussen (353.7) had a poor final series to join Maricic (353.4) in being eliminated. With one more series to go, an impressive 50.9 from Hegg made him qualify in first with 408.0, and though Nymbursky faltered somewhat he still had enough to qualify second in 407.7. A good final series wasn't enough for Privratsky (407.0) to close the gap, missing out alongside Jany (404.5). Gold medal matches are held with each athlete shooting, earning two points for a higher score, with the first to sixteen winning; a tie earns one point each, but with this somewhat rare, it is practically a best-of-15 shoot-off. With the score at 12-12, Hegg shot a 10.5 while Nymbursky could only manage a 9.6, putting the Norwegian in pole position. However, in the next shot, Nymbursky hit a 10.6 while Hegg earned a 9.7, leading to one final shoot-off. The pressure got to Hegg, who hit an 8.9, and Nymbursky's 10.8 earned a gold medal for the Czech Republic. It's another quota in shooting for them, while Hegg earns Norway's first in Paris. Moving over to the Rapid Fire Pistol, and 39 athletes, four of whom were RPOs. With the top eight going through, and with a total of 600 shots, Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov was top in qualifying with 587 hits. Germany's Oliver Geis was next with 586, while France's Clement Bessaguet (20x) and Great Britain's Sam William Gowin (18x) on 585. Florian Peter of Germany (22x), Martin Strnad of the Czech Republic (16x), and Maksym Horodynets of Ukraine (14x) were next on 584, with the final spot going to Italy's Massimo Spinella on 581. Next would be the ranking matches, where there would be four series of five shots each (a total of twenty), and the top two would advance. The first ranking match was comprised of Bessaguet, Horodynets, Korostylov and Peter, and after two series there was a clear pattern, with everyone on seven hits bar Peter on five. Korostylov hit all five in the next series, while Bessaguet and Peter managed four, Horodynets, fatally, only hit three. In the final series, everyone would only hit three, meaning that Korostylov (fifteen) and Bessaguet (fourteen) advanced, while Horodynets (thirteen) and Peter (twelve) were eliminated. Geis, Gowin, Spinella, and Strnad took part in the second match, where consistency was key, Geis (eighteen) and Strnad (fourteen) advancing relatively easily, with Gowin (eleven) and Spinella (ten) in the cold. In the final, the fourth-placed shooter would be eliminated after four series, with a further two to eliminate third-placed, and another two to decide a winner. After three series, Bessaguet and Geis were ahead on eleven, with Korostylov on ten and Strnad on nine. Any chance the Czech had of recovering to medal was lost when he missed four in the fourth series and was eliminated on ten: Geis was in the danger zone on twelve after also missing four, but he hit a perfect ten in his next two series to eliminate Korostylov on 21. After seven series, it was 25-25, with one series left to go between France and Germany for gold, and it was Bessaguet who took all five hits to win 30-29 and become European champion. The quota spots then, go to France and Germany. The fact that a place has gone to hosts France mean their automatic host spot no longer applies; instead, a second spot will be earned based on the qualification ranking. Moving to the women's side, and again starting with the 50m Rifle 3 Positions, it was once more a Norwegian leading the elimination relay, with Jenny Stene setting a Qualification European Record 595 hits. In qualification, with 36 athletes including eight "RPO"s, Stene improved her own record to 596, with Sarina Hitz of Switzerland coming second with 593. Rikke Maeng Ibsen of Denmark was next with a 592, and Jeanette Hegg Deustad of Norway managed 591. The Czech Republic's Veronika Blazickova (33x) and Ukraine's Daria Tykhova (31x) both managed 590, with Germany's Jolyn Beer (589-36x) and Slovenia's Ziva Dvorsak (589-32x) just edging out Austria's Nadine Ungerank (589-26x) for the final spot. The ranking match is unforgiving, and those that are not keeping pace get eliminated, as Dvorsak (304.4) and Beer (302.8) soon found out. Hitz was clearly out and finished 6th on 356.5, but who would go into the final four? It was close between Duestad and Stene, but the Norwegian let herself down with a 49.5 to finish and she was eliminated on 358.0. Duestad was too far adrift to make the top two, finishing fourth on 409.9, and Ibsen was too far in front and finished well ahead on 413.9 even with an underwhelming final series, but after Tykhova faltered in the final series Blazickova could overturn the gap to her. She did with an impressive 50.9, pipping Tykhova 411.7-410.4. In the medal match, Ibsen raced into a lead and wasn't caught, it finished an uneventful 16-6 to the Dane. The quota spots went to Denmark and the Czech Republic. Finally, the women's 25m pistol event, which follows a similar format to the men's rapid fire pistol. 51 athletes, including four RPOs, entered qualifying, and it was Germany's Doreen Vennekamp who led the way on 592. Anna Korakaki of Greece was next on 588, while Antoaneta Kostadinova's 587-20x just pipped Camille Jedrzejewski of France's 587-19x onto 4th. Maria Varricchio of Italy (19x) and Renata Sike of Hungary (18x) both managed 583, while Joana Castelao of Portugal was safely through on 582. Poland's Klaudia Bres was through on 581-18x, pipping Ukraine's Olena Kostevych on 581-17x and Latvian Agate Rasmane on 581-16x. The first ranking match was made up of Castelao, Kostadinova, Varricchio, and Vennekamp. In the end, Vennekamp advanced simply, on seventeen, while Castelao and Varricchio tied for second with thirteen, and Kostadinova was eliminated on eleven. In the shoot-off, the Italian took it 4-2, joining Vennekamp in the final. The other ranking match had Bres, Jedrezjewski, Korakaki, and Sike. After a challenging first series it was close all the way through, but Jedrezejewski and Korakaki never recovered from hitting just one in that initial series. In the end, Bres (thirteen) and Sike (twelve) went through, with Korakaki (eleven) and Jedrezejewski (ten) eliminated. In the final, what seemed inevitable became reality. Sike hit just three from the first two series, but hit a perfect ten in her next two to get her nose in front of Varricchio, who was eliminated on twelve. While Bres and Sike were both on thirteen at this stage, the dominant Vennekamp had already worked her way into a commanding lead with eighteen. It was still a close-run thing for silver, and it went to a single shot, with Sike eliminated on seventeen and Bres surviving on eighteen. It didn't last long: after one more series, Vennekamp lead 29-21, and as victory was mathematically secured, a Golden Hit was declared and the German was European champion; Germany and Poland securing the quota spots. The short version of this article reads that on the men's side, the 50m Rifle 3 Positions spots went to the Czech Republic and Norway, while the Rapid Fire Pistol berths went to France and Germany, while on the women's side, the 50m Rifle 3 Positions places headed to Denmark and the Czechs, while the Germans and Poland earned a place in the 25m pistol event. The next chance shooters in this category will get is the 2022 World Championship (Rifle and Pistol) in Cairo, Egypt. Patrick Green Writer, Totallympics News
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