Tokyo 2020: The Shooting Lowdown

With the delayed but much anticipated Tokyo Olympic Games just around the corner, we get to grips with the many forms of shooting that will be gracing our screens over the following weeks. Although starting off with just five events in the inaugural 1896 Olympics, the games now boast three times that number, representative of the diversity of modern diversity made achievable through the technological innovation of firearms. These 15 events are divided into three categories: rifle, pistol, and shotgun. While the first two are a challenge of shooting stationary targets, shotgun is split into Trap and Skeet events that are decided by shooting propelled targets.

Full Event Program:

  • 50m Rifle 3 Positions (Men/Women)
  • 10m Air Rifle (Men/Women)
  • 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (Men)
  • 25m Pistol (Women)
  • 10m Air Pistol (Men/Women)
  • Trap (Men/Women)
  • Skeet (Men/Women)
  • 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team
  • 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team
  • Trap Mixed Team

A Tense Spectacle:

Despite small targets, shooting attracts a wide range of spectators due to the ease in which a single inaccuracy can change the outcome of the event, leading to consistent tension throughout. The varied nature of the shooting program places value on both accuracy and speed depending on the event. For instance, in the 25m Pistol where women can only compete, the event is split between precision and rapid shooting over 60 shots. The 50m Rifle 3 Positions, however, allows 2 hours and 45 minutes to take 40 shots from standing, kneeling, and prone positions during qualification.

Although similar to the UK’s most popular form of Down-The-Line shooting, the Olympic Trap event’s difficulty is enhanced due to the distance from the targets and the speed at which they are thrown. To qualify, the best ranking contestants will have two shots per target over a total of 125 targets, however, this is reduced to a single shot in the final after the rules were changed in 2005 for more tense competition. Off the back of a Shotgun World Cup title in Mixed Trap, the UK will be faithful in their team talismans, Matt Coward-Holley and Kirsty Hegarty who will compete in individual events & most probably combine again in Mixed Trap.

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