‘It’s a little surreal’: Young US shooter Will Shaner takes air rifle gold

Olympics

TOKYO (NBC Olympics) — Will Shaner, a 20-year-old American shooter ranked only 21st coming into the Olympics and the youngest man to qualify for an Olympic rifle competition, won the 10-meter air rifle on Sunday.

Shaner got into the groove with the fourth of his shots in the final, a 10.9. In his second five-shot series, he hit another 10.9 and scored at least 10.6 on each shot. He kept up his hot shooting and maintained at least a one-point lead through the next 12 shots.

Going into the last two shots, Shaner had a lead of 1.5 points over China’s Sheng Lihao, at 16 even younger than Shaner. Shaner’s next shot was the worst of his final so far, a 10.1. But Sheng managed only a 10.3 and gained little ground. Shaner sealed the win with a 10.2, good enough to take the win despite Sheng’s 10.8.

Shaner finished with 251.6 points to Sheng’s 250.9.

China took two spots on the podium, with Yang Haoran finishing with 229.4, just 0.4 behind Sheng when he was eliminated.

U.S. shooter Lucas Kozeniesky also made the final and avoided elimination with some clutch shots down the stretch, including two 10.9s, but a 9.9 on his last shot saw him depart with a sixth-place finish. He also competed in Rio but did not qualify for the final.

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