A roadmap to follow for the shooting competition during the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Vincent Hancock, United States: The most decorated Olympic skeet shooter of all time, Hancock has three gold medals in an event no one else has won more than once. Hancock, who aims to retire at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, already trains a new generation of U.S. shooters at his complex near Fort Worth, Texas.

—Nino Salukvadze, Georgia: At the age of 55, Salukvadze is set to become the first woman to compete in 10 Olympics when she takes part in the women’s 25-meter pistol shooting event. Salukvadze’s Olympic career began at 19 back in 1988 when she won gold for the Soviet Union.

—Amber Rutter, Britain: Rutter is aiming to compete in Paris just three months after giving birth to her first child. The two-time world champion is even more determined to make it to Paris because she was ruled out of the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

Storylines to Follow

—Tune in early on the first morning. The first gold medal of the Paris Olympics is set to be awarded at the shooting range. The mixed team 10-meter air rifle competition is expected to conclude at 11:50 a.m. local time on July 27, the morning after the opening ceremony. It’s a recent Olympic tradition for shooting to fire the metaphorical starting pistol on the medal rush. Yang Qian won the first gold at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and Ginny Thrasher of the United States had that honor in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

—The shooting events can be a place for smaller countries to shine at the Olympics. Nineteen different nations won medals in shooting at the Tokyo Games, including a silver and bronze for the tiny country of San Marino, which is home to just over 33,000 people.

Key Dates

Shooting begins on July 27, the day after the opening ceremony, and runs through Aug. 5. There will be at least one medal event each day.

Reigning Champions

—Men’s 10-meter air pistol: Javad Foroughi, Iran.

—Men’s 25-meter pistol: Jean Quiquampoix, France.

—Men’s 10-meter air rifle: Will Shaner, United States.

—Men’s 50-meter rifle: Zhang Changhong, China.

—Men’s trap: Jiri Liptak, Czech Republic.

—Men’s skeet: Vincent Hancock, United States.

—Women’s 10-meter air pistol: Vitalina Batsarashkina, ROC.

—Women’s 25-meter pistol: Vitalina Batsarashkina, ROC.

—Women’s 10-meter air rifle: Nina Christen, Switzerland.

—Women’s trap: Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova, Slovakia.

—Women’s skeet: Amber English, United States.

—Mixed team 10-meter air pistol: China.

—Mixed team 10-meter air rifle: China.

—Mixed team trap: Spain (not on the program in Paris).


AP Olympics coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games