Yang Hao­ran :

A YOUNG CHI­NESE SHOOTER HAS OLYMPIC DREAM Yang Hao­ran, win­ner of four medals at the 13th Chi­nese Na­tional Games takes aim at the Tokyo games

China Daily - - WEEKEND LIFE -

Still in his early 20s, the world cham­pion shooter is a man of few words. But he is not shy about nam­ing his ambitions to com­pete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Still in his early 20s, world cham­pion shooter Yang Hao­ran is a man of few words. But he is not shy about nam­ing his ambitions to com­pete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. That Olympic dream has moved closer to be­com­ing re­al­ity for Yang, who just won four medals at the on­go­ing 13th Chi­nese Na­tional Games.

The 21-year-old Yang, from He­bei prov­ince, nailed golds in the men’s 10m air ri­fle and the 50m ri­fle 3 po­si­tions, got one sil­ver in the newly-in­tro­duced 10m air ri­fle mixed team, and one bronze from the 10m air ri­fle team event from his sec­ond Na­tional Games.

Yang is the reigning cham­pion in the men’s 10m air ri­fle, but he has sel­dom com­peted in the men’s 50m ri­fle 3p event.

Yang set a new na­tional record with 1,189 points in the men’s 50m ri­fle 3p qual­i­fi­ca­tion round, sur­pass­ing the world mark by three points re­cently. The cur­rent world record was set by Nazar Loug­inets of Rus­sia on June 12, 2014 at the ISSF World Cup Ri­fle & Pis­tol in Mu­nich of Ger­many.

“I am glad to win my sec­ond gold in the 50m ri­fle 3p, es­pe­cially be­cause I’ve never won in the event be­fore,” says Yang, who scored 460.4 points in the 50m ri­fle 3p fi­nal.

“I feel ashamed, be­cause Yang is not re­ally a shooter fa­mil­iar with the 50m ri­fle 3p,” says Hui Zicheng of the PLA team, who fin­ished sec­ond in the event.

It seems Hui is cor­rect in his as­sess­ment. Yang is mainly known for his stel­lar record in the 10m air ri­fle, which be­gan in 2013 as a young Chi­nese emerged as a shoot­ing prodigy.

In 2012, Yang won the youth event in the 10 m air ri­fle at the Asian Air Gun Cham­pi­onships. One year later, the 17-year-old Yang won the men’s 10m air ri­fle event from his first try at the ISSF World Cup stage in Fort Ben­ning, USA on May 6, 2013.

The gold medal seemed to open a door for the young shooter. Yang reaped golds in two ISSF World Cup stages and the World Cup Fi­nal in 2013.

When asked about any se­crets to his suc­cess in the sport, Yang’s quiet de­meanor shines through. He replies: “noth­ing spe­cial,” or “just hard work.”

The re­porters for the ISSF of­fi­cial web­site have even tagged him as a “quiet Chi­nese dream,” say­ing his lack of words por­trays a mix of shy­ness and hu­mil­ity.

Yang’s status as a ris­ing star is as well known as his quiet de­meanor. Yang has won just every ma­jor in­ter­na­tional ti­tle since 2013, such as the Asian Shoot­ing Cham­pi­onship (Te­heran 2013) and the Asian Games (In­cheon 2014); the ISSF World Cup (Mu­nich 2014), the World Cup Fi­nal (Mu­nich 2013), the World Cham­pi­onship (Granada 2014); and the Youth Olympic Games (Nan­jing 2014).

There’s only one thing Yang lacks: an Olympic gold.

Yang fin­ished a dis­ap­point­ing 31st at last year’s Rio Olympics, but that has not stopped his drive to chase an Olympic gold medal.

“I do not think my ex­pe­ri­ence in the Rio Games was a set­back. It made me more ma­ture ac­tu­ally,” says Yang.

Yang started shoot­ing in 2008, eight years af­ter Cai Yalin won the Olympic gold in 10m air ri­fle in Syd­ney. Cai be­came Yang’s coach a few years later, and they have worked to­gether to­ward Yang’s Olympic as­pi­ra­tions ever since.

“Bor­ing as shoot­ing is, it is truly a sport that can make you feel like fam­ily. Love shoot­ing as al­ways,” writes Yang on Fri­day on his per­sonal WeChat page, a Chi­nese so­cial mes­sag­ing app.

Even though he is just 21 years old, Yang is al­ready a sea­soned shooter, and can even deal with some tricky ques­tions.

“As I can’t af­ford to buy land, I will con­tinue train­ing for the 2020 Games,” smiles Yang, jok­ing about the surging real es­tate prices in China.

Yang re­peat­edly says that he felt lucky to win, and once joked that he might have to be­come a farmer af­ter his Rio ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The in­clu­sion of new event does not mat­ter for me. I still need to train a lot in or­der to win medal,” says Yang.

The 10 m air pis­tol mixed team, the 10m air ri­fle mixed team and trap mixed team events have been rat­i­fied to be in­cluded in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) on June 9, 2017 un­der the rec­om­men­da­tion of the sport’s world gov­ern­ing body ISSF.

I do not think my ex­pe­ri­ence in the Rio Games was a set­back. It made me more ma­ture ac­tu­ally.” Yang Hao­ran, world cham­pion shooter

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Yang Hao­ran nailed golds in the men’s 10m air ri­fle and the 50m ri­fle 3 po­si­tions at the 13th Chi­nese Na­tional Games.

Yang set a new na­tional record with 1,189 points in the men’s 50m ri­fle 3p qual­i­fi­ca­tion round.

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