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The First Gold Medal Of The Tokyo Olympics Goes To China

Qian Yang of China celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle at the Asaka Shooting Range in the Summer Olympics on Saturday.
Alex Brandon
/
AP
Qian Yang of China celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle at the Asaka Shooting Range in the Summer Olympics on Saturday.

The first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics goes to Qian Yang from China, after the 21-year-old came out on top in the women's 10 meter air rifle competition.

Yang narrowly beat out Russia's Anastasiia Galashina and set an Olympic record. The bronze medal went to Swiss shooter Nina Christen.

Yang jubilantly held up her medal during the ceremony, along with a small bouquet of flowers. Due to coronavirus protocols, medals were passed to the winners on a tray and they placed them around their own necks. Usually, a dignitary would put the medals on the winners.

Qian Yang holds her rifle aloft after winning a gold medal. Anastasiia Galashina (left) of the Russian Olympic Committee took the silver medal and Nina Christen of Switzerland took the bronze medal.
Alex Brandon / AP
/
AP
Qian Yang holds her rifle aloft after winning a gold medal. Anastasiia Galashina (left) of the Russian Olympic Committee took the silver medal and Nina Christen of Switzerland took the bronze medal.

Mary Tucker from the U.S. took 6th place in the competition. The field was fairly open, with none of the medalists in this event from the 2016 Rio Games competing.

It was a disappointing day for the competitor from Norway. Jeanette Hegg broke an Olympic record during the qualification round, but ultimately finished fourth.

In the event, shooters stand 10 meters (almost 33 feet) from a stationary target and fire at it with an air rifle. In other shooting events, competitors use different kinds of firearms, fire from positions including kneeling or lying on the ground, shoot at targets from different distances, or take aim at moving targets.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

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