RIO DE JANEIRO,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 5th Augst,2016) - Chinese sharp shooter Yi Siling has her sights set on securing the first gold of the Rio 2016 Games on Saturday only hours after the lighting of the Olympic flame. The 27-year-old, known as 'shooting beauty', defends her 10m air rifle title from London 2012 at the Olympic shooting centre in Deodoro. Yi is worthy favourite to do the double in this first of 15 titles in play over nine days of tense targeting in this military camp outside Rio.
Yi came close to retiring her rifle in 2004 as her family were unable to come up with the cash to cover the costs associated with her training, but her coach stepped in, promising financial support. His generosity has paid handsome dividends, with the latest instalment on his investment set to be realised in Brazil. Among those standing in the way of the world record holder's path to the top of the podium are Andrea Arsovic, the world number one, and fellow Serb, Ivana Maksimovic.
For Maksimovic this will be an unforgettable 24 hours, as she has been chosen to carry Serbia's flag at the opening ceremony at the Maracana stadium on Friday night. "Carrying the flag is such an honour for me. Novak Djokovic was carrying it in London. "Everybody wants to carry the flag but now this is happening to me." Maksimovic, who took bronze in the 50m rifle in London, is being spurred on by the need to uphold family honour at the Olympics.
"I want to be as great as my dad (coach Goran Maksimovic, a gold medallist at Seoul 1988) is and I started to live with that." Among the big Names to watch out for at Deodoro none come bigger than Kimberley Rhode. The American is gunning for a sixth consecutive individual Olympic medal only ever achieved by Italian luger Armin Zoeggeler. "The pressure is definitely there," she said. "One thing I have learned over the years is how to manage it.
I do not think it has changed any. If anything, I think I have more expectations for myself." "I can honestly say this is not going to be my last Olympics." Among the 37-year-old Californian's many claims to fame are a number of entries in the Guinness Book of Records, including one for shooting clay targets upside down The mother-of-one goes for her fourth gold when she defends her 2012 skeet title where she hit a near perfect 99 out of 100 targets on Friday.
South Korean Jin Jongoh is another defending his title in the men's 10m air pistol but hosts Brazil have high hopes for the current world number one Almeida Wu. Rhode's compatriot Vincent Hancock is trying for a third men's skeet title while China's Guo Wenjun is hoping to accomplish the same feat in the women's 10m air pistol. Elsewhere, there is history as well as bullets in the air in Deodoro as Georgia's Nino Salukvadze (10m air pistol) and Tsotne Machavariani (50m pistol) are believed to be the first mother and son to take part in the same Olympics.