The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) was founded in 1907 as the International Shooting Union, changing its name in 1998. Shooting has been contested since the inaugural modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Shooting has come a long way since its debut at the inaugural Games in 1896. Originally, there were just three shooting events compared to the 15 currently on the Olympic programme. In part, this leap is thanks to advances in the technology of firearms and equipment, but it is also a reflection of the passion shooters have for their sport.
At the Olympic Games, there are nine events for men and six for women. The events are divided into three groups: rifle, pistol and shotgun. The rifle and pistol events are held on shooting ranges, with competitors aiming at targets from distances of 10 metres, 25 metres and 50 metres. In the shotgun event, competitors shoot at clay targets propelled in a series of different directions.
Women in the ranks
In 1992, 24-year-old Chinese competitor Zhang Shan sensationally won gold in a mixed-gender Skeet shooting event. In doing so, she became the first woman ever to win gold in an Olympic event open to both men and women. In 1996 at the Atlanta Games, the shooting programme was segregated, so her achievement could remain unique for a very long time.