HIGHLIGHTS FROM RIO: South Korea’s Jongoh Jin overcame shooting’s version of a shank to rally in men’s 50-meter pistol to become the first shooter in Olympic history to earn gold in the same discipline three straight Olympics. American Kim Rhode became the first summer Olympian to win an individual medal in six straight Games with bronze in skeet. Ginny Thrasher won the first gold of the Rio Games in women’s 10-meter air rifle.
WHAT’S NEW: In an effort to add gender equality, the International Olympic Committee made a few changes for the Tokyo Games. The men’s prone rifle, free pistol and double trap event has been removed from the program. It will be replaced by mixed team events in air rifle, air pistol and trap. Women also will get the same number of shots as the men in all events.
TOKYO EXPECTATIONS: History will be made when Georgian Nino Salukvadze competes in her ninth Olympics. She’s a three-time medalist, including gold in 10-meter air pistol at the 2008 Beijing Games. Keep an eye on young Indian shooter Manu Bhaker. The 19-year-old had a stellar junior career and should be in the mix to medal, both as an individual and mixed team events.
ATHLETES TO WATCH: Jongoh Jin is a four-time Olympic champion and has a chance to make four straight Games with a gold medal. He will be competing in 10-meter air pistol after 50-meter pistol was removed from the Olympic program in Tokyo. German Christian Reitz is the reigning gold medalist in the rapid fire event. American Vincent Hancock, a four-time world champion, is seeking his third gold medal in skeet. Mary Tucker, an equine science major at the University of Kentucky, is the world No. 1 in air rifle and also will compete in smallbore. Ukrainian Olena Kostevych is the world No. 1 in air pistol and has won three medals, including gold at the 2004 Athens Games. One American shooter will be missing: Rhode will miss the Olympics for the first time since 1996 after failing to qualify for Tokyo.
GOLD MEDAL MOMENTS: The 15 medal events are from July 25-Aug. 2, including men’s and women’s skeet finals on July 26.