No sport made a more drastic move toward gender equity in the Tokyo Olympics than shooting.
Out with the men’s free pistol, prone rifle and double trap. In with mixed events in air pistol, air rifle and trap.
The new program suited the United States just fine. U.S. shooters took three gold medals, second only to China, and six total medals, third behind China and the ROC.
Other countries with multiple medals included the Czech Republic, Switzerland and San Marino. Yes, San Marino.
San Marino breaks through
Can you find San Marino on a map? Hint: Look at Italy. Within Italy, to be surprised. The country of 33,860 had never won a medal in the Olympics until this year.
Enter Alessandra Perilli, a world-class trap shooter. She took bronze in the trap competition, then teamed up with Gian Marco Berti to take silver in the new mixed trap event.
San Marino actually made it three medals later in the Games when wrestler Myles Amine, who lives in the USA and wrestles for Michigan but qualifies for the San Marino team through his family tree, took bronze.
Mixed-gender events take root
Many sports are looking for mixed events however they can do it. We’re seeing plenty of relays everywhere from track and field to cross-country skiing.
In shooting, it’s not difficult to set things up. Put two shooters side by side and count their scores together.
It’s not as if women are incapable. In several events, their scores are comparable to the men’s scores. Hitting a tiny target to score a 10.9 is equally challenging for anyone.
The biggest benefactor was China, which won the air rifle and air pistol events. The ROC and the USA each took two medals as well, a silver and a bronze for each. Mary Tucker and Lucas Kozeniesky racked up a good qualifying score to reach the mixed air rifle gold medal match, while Maddie Bernau hit a clutch shot to clinch the mixed trap bronze along with Brian Burrows.
U.S. shooters strike for six
Vincent Hancock is the skeet-shooting GOAT. He left no doubt in Tokyo, hitting 59 of 60 targets in the final for his third gold medal in four visits to the Olympics. He’s still just 32 years old.
Amber English made it a skeet sweep for the USA, going to the wire to win with 56 hits.
The mixed teams accounted for two more medals, and Kayle Browning took silver in women’s trap.
Perhaps the least expected medal was the gold for Will Shaner in the air rifle.
And thanks to Shaner and Tucker, the University of Kentucky had two medalists, which would tied them for fourth in the medal table.
Women’s air rifle: RESULTS
Gold: Yang Qian (CHN)
Silver: Anastasiia Galashina (ROC)
Bronze: Nina Christen (SUI)
Men’s air rifle: RESULTS
Gold: Will Shaner (USA)
Silver: Sheng Lihao (CHN)
Bronze: Yang Haoran (CHN)
Men’s 3-position rifle: RESULTS
Gold – Zhang Changhong (CHN)
Silver – Sergey Kamensky (ROC)
Bronze – Milenko Sebic (SRB)
Women’s 3-position rifle: RESULTS
Gold – Nina Christen (SUI)
Silver – Yulia Zykova (ROC)
Bronze – Yulia Karimova (ROC)
Mixed team air rifle: RESULTS
Gold – Yang/Yang (CHN)
Silver – Tucker/Kozeniesky (USA)
Bronze – Karimova/Kamensky (ROC)
Women’s air pistol: RESULTS
Gold: Vitalina Batsarashkina (ROC)
Silver: Antoaneta Kostadinova (BUL)
Bronze: Jiang Ranxin (CHN)
Men’s air pistol: RESULTS
Gold: Javad Foroughi (IRI)
Silver: Damir Mikec (SRB)
Bronze: Pang Wei (CHN)
Women’s sport pistol: RESULTS
Gold – Vitalina Batsarashkina (ROC)
Silver – Kim Min-Jung (KOR)
Bronze – Xiao Jiaruixuan (CHN)
Men’s rapid fire pistol: RESULTS
Gold – Jean Quiquampoix (FRA)
Silver – Leuris Pupo (CUB)
Bronze – Li Yuehong (CHN)
Mixed team air pistol: RESULTS
Gold – Jiang/Pang (CHN)
Silver – Batsarashkina/Chernousov (ROC)
Bronze – Kostevych/Omelchuk (UKR)
Women’s skeet: RESULTS
Gold – Amber English (USA)
Silver – Diana Bacosi (ITA)
Bronze – Wei Meng (CHN)
Men’s skeet: RESULTS
Gold – Vincent Hancock (USA)
Silver – Jesper Hansen (DEN)
Bronze – Abdullah Al-Rashidi (KUW)
Women’s trap: RESULTS
Gold – Zuzana Stefecekova (SVK)
Silver – Kayle Browning (USA)
Bronze – Alessandra Perilli (SMR)
Men’s trap: RESULTS
Gold – Jiri Liptak (CZE)
Silver – David Kostelecky (CZE)
Bronze – Matthew Coward-Holley (GBR)
Mixed team trap: RESULTS
Gold: Fernandez/Galvez (ESP)
Silver: Berti/Perilla (ITA)
Bronze: Burrows/Bernau (USA)