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Olympic champ Pang Wei considering to retire from shooting after National Games

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-17 09:19
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Pang Wei helps Hebei province win the 10m air pistol men's team title on Tuesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xi'an -- Double Olympic shooting champion Pang Wei is pondering on whether to quit shooting after the ongoing 14th National Games slated on Sept 14-27 here in Shaanxi province, Northwest China.

"It's difficult for me, an injury-plagued veteran, to play the National Games just a few days after the Tokyo Olympic Games," said the 35-year-old who rounded up his campaign at the quadrennial multi-sport event on Thursday.

Pang helped Hebei province win the 10m air pistol men's team title on Tuesday, but was ousted earlier in Thursday's mixed team qualification despite pairing his Tokyo Olympics championship-winning partner Jiang Ranxin.

"I think I've performed at my normal level today," commented the four-time Olympian and the 2008 and 2020 Olympic Games gold medalist. "It's just a pity to miss the mixed team final."

Pang and Jiang fired down a gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in late July, before they came to the National Games as a combined team of Hebei province and Shanghai Municipality.

"Jiang was not satisfied with her performance, but I think it's normal. She's young and this kind of growing pains are inevitable," he added.

Pang made his name known to the world in 2008 when he won the Chinese shooting team's first gold at the Olympics on home soil. He finished fourth in the men's 10m air pistol at London 2012 and clinched a bronze at Rio 2016. In Tokyo, he also bagged a bronze in men's 10m air pistol individual event.

Despite suffering back problems in recent years, Pang remained as a competitor and carried on for Tokyo 2020, even after his wife Du Li, also a renowned shooter, retired in 2016 with two Olympic gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

"It's not an impulsive idea," explained Pang while talking about his possible retirement. "I longed for a rest for a long time, given all the pains and injuries, and the thought became much stronger when I came back from the Tokyo Olympics."

"Hopefully there come more talented youngsters to carry the flag for China's shooting sport in the future," he added.

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