Olympic athlete taking aim in air rifles event

Hundreds of elite shooters have made the journey to Brazil for the largest single test event for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games – the third stage of the 2016 World Cup Series of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).

As well as competing for medals in a series of events, the competition also serves as a chance to test the facilities of the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro in Rio. The event started on the 15th of April, and comes to a close this weekend on Sunday 24th April.

Athletes from 88 countries, including 50 world and Olympic champions are competing in the events, which will put the Centre through its paces, testing the shooting areas, technology and any potential design issues with the venue.

But there is also more to it, as the test event will help to many countries identify which competitors are to return to Rio for the Olympic Games this August. There are a total of 390 places for shooters at the Games, split amongst the different events.

There are currently nine events for men and six for women, which are divided into three gun classifications: air rifles, air pistols and shotguns. The rifle and pistol events take place on shooting ranges, from distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres. In the trap and skeet events, competitors shoot at clay targets thrust into different directions using shotguns.

As it stands, Ukraine are leading the competition thanks to two gold medals and one bronze, closely followed by Spain with two golds. With many events still to come over the final few days of the tournament, it’s still all to play for!