Team China

Asian shooting landscape undergoing dramatic changes

By Tang Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-16 09:32
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GUANGZHOU - Wang Yifu, head coach of Chinese shooting team, said the team's blank sheet in Sunday's matches had sounded alarming bells in the squad.

"We reflected on our losses last evening, and realized there is still a considerable gap to be made up in some events at the world-class level," Wang said.

"The Asian Games are just a mid-term examination, and discovering problems through this exam will be helpful for the 2012 London Olympics."

Though Chinese shooters rebounded to win five of eight gold medals in Monday's action, Wang admitted the shooting landscape in Asia had changed dramatically, and there are no longer easy golds up for grabs.

"The shooters from the Republic of Korea (ROK) performed quite well," said 50-year-old Wang. "The two countries have some similarities, but we also need to learn from each other."

ROK shooters continued their fine form by grabbing three gold medals at the Aoti Shooting Range on Monday, for a total of eight, only two behind the host.

Kim Hak-man, with compatriots Kim Jong-hyun and Han Jin-seop, broke the previous Asian record (1,782 points) by three points in Monday's first event, the men's team 50m rifle prone.

China finished with 1,774 points for silver and Kazakhstan won bronze (1,771).

Kim later claimed gold in the individual 50m prone with 698.3 points to boost the ROK's shooting gold tally to seven, which tied the country's best shooting record at an Asiad.

"Normally, all of our athletes can shoot bull's eyes in training," said ROK deputy coach Byun Kyungsoo. "Shooters with stronger minds perform better in competition. Therefore, we have attached great importance to strengthening their psychological qualities."

However, champ Kim's explanation was simple.

"The biggest reason for our successful performance here is because of the time difference between the ROK and Guangzhou is only one hour," said Kim. "We didn't have any difficulties in adjusting to the time difference."

Kim said shooting was not a popular sport in the ROK.

"We have about 3,000 shooters (in the whole country), but those who have the capacity to win international medals are only about 20," said Kim.

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