Sarah Hornung edges out favourite Veloso in women’s 10m air rifle
Sarah Hornung (SUI) was near perfect on her way to a gold medal in a hotly-contested women’s 10m air rifle competition at the Fangshan Shooting Hall. Hornung did not shoot below 10 after her third shot, scoring a 207.8 to edge out Martina Lindsay Veloso (SIN), who scored a 207.2.
Only 0.7 points divided the two competitors as they went into the final shot, but Hornung remained calm and fired a 10.5, leaving no chance for Veloso to make up the gap. Hornung, 18, said she tried to block out the crowd noise and the pressure coming from Veloso, who had climbed the rankings quickly in her charge to a medal.
“I knew that a medal was there, but I didn’t know which one. I just knew if I could fight again, I would reach it,” Hornung said. “I completely isolated myself, and I didn’t listen to the others or to the speaker, I just did my thing."
The 14-year-old Veloso overtook eventual bronze medallist Julia Budde (GER) by shooting a 10.5 and 10.8 series on the 17th and 18th shots. Budde, 18, faltered only slightly, hitting a 9.8, but it was enough to relegate her to third and put Veloso in contention for gold.
“After winning those other medals I had to start from ground zero and forget about all those medals I won before this,” Veloso said. “I really had to focus on this competition and not think about anything else.” As for how she achieves this focus, Veloso said: “It’s a secret.”
Budde looked unbeatable during a remarkable stretch from the 13th to the 17th shot, punctuated by a perfect 10.9 on the 16th. “My heart was beating,” Budde said. “It’s not so often that I hit a 10.9.”
Budde said the bronze marked the best result of her career, and Hornung said she will cherish her gold for years to come. “It’s so cool,” said the Swiss shooter. “I didn’t expect to have this kind of success.”