At the London 2012 Olympic Games, the sport of Shooting will feature three disciplines: Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun.

Did you know?

There will be around 275,000 clay targets for the Shotgun competition.
Hungarian shooter Karoly Takac, taught himself to shoot left-handed after a grenade blew off his right arm in 1938. Ten years later, he won two gold medals at the London 1948 Games.
Running Target or ‘Deer’ events were held from 1908 until 2000. This discipline replicated deer hunting, using a crossing target at ranges of 100m in 1908, reducing to 10m in 2000.
Between 1896 and 2004, British athletes won 88 Olympic medals in Shooting.
Shooting had more athletes than any other sport at the Athens 1896 Olympic Games.
At Barcelona 1992, China’s Zhang Shan became the first woman to win Gold in a mixed-sex shooting event. After these Games, the International Shooting Union stopped men and women competing against each other.

Key facts

Venue: The Royal Artillery Barracks
Dates: Saturday 28 July – Sunday 5 August
Events: 15 events in all: five in each of the three disciplines (Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun). In each of these disciplines, three events are for men and two for women.
Gold medals up for grabs: 15
Athletes: 390

Shooting: a history of the sport 

Shooting developed as a hunting sport. The earliest shooting clubs were recorded in central Europe in the 15th century. The rules and competition structure of modern shooting were developed in Europe and the USA, spreading worldwide in the late 19th century.

Today, top marksmen and women come from a wide range of countries – every continent is represented at the Olympic Games.

For mor information on the history of the sport visit the IOC website. 

Shooting at the Games

Shooting was one of the sports on the programme of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens 1896.

The worldwide development of the sport has seen it grow from three events at those Games to 15 today.

Women first took part in Shooting at Mexico City 1968. They used to compete alongside men, but separate men’s and women’s events have been held since 1996.

 How to play

Shooting is made up of Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun competitions.

In Pistol and Rifle events, competitors fire bullets at a target from a set distance.

They score points according to the accuracy of their shots. The targets consist of 10 rings, with a ‘bullseye’ at the centre that counts for 10.9 points in Olympic finals.

Pistol targets are either fixed at 50m and 10m, or turn to set time sequences at 25m.

In the Shotgun event, competitors fire lead pellets (‘shot’) at moving clay targets. These are launched from different directions, and in sequences originally designed to look like birds in flight.

Jargon buster

  • Firing line: The line where competitors position themselves to shoot their targets.
  • Clay shooting: The sport of shooting at clay targets thrown into the air by a trap machine.
  • String: A series of shots – usually five or ten.
  • Lost: A shotgun target that has not been hit. 
  • Three positions: Rifle events that require competitors to shoot in the prone, standing and kneeling positions at a distance of 50m.

Get involved

Shooting is a fun way to learn discipline and responsibility. In the UK, more than 350,000 people currently practice the sport, with equal numbers of boys and girls entering competitions.
If you want to get involved, British Shooting is a good place to start.

As with many sports, there are schemes to encourage young people to reach a high level.

Find details of all the Shooting clubs and facilities in your local area by visiting British Shooting, the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association and the National Small-bore Rifle Association.

shooting competition at Beijing 2008

~ by superbowlnyc on February 20, 2011.

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