After stamping its authority at the ISSF World Cup in Osijek which concluded on Saturday, Steyr Sport will be looking to extend the domination at the International Online Shooting Championship (IOSC), scheduled on 5th & 6th July.
Effectively the last competition before the Tokyo Olympics later this month, the IOSC, organised by indianshooting.com, will give Olympic-bound shooters like Sylvia Steiner of Austria the final opportunity to test themselves under competition pressure.
It isn’t just Sylvia who will be flying Steyr’s banner in the IOSC. Another Olympic-bound shooter from the Steyr family making her presence felt will be Armenia’s Elmira Karapetyan.
Steyr, the world-renowned gun manufacturer based out of Austria, has dominated pistol events at the Olympics since 1992. The company’s record at the sport’s biggest event is mindboggling. Starting from Barcelona 1992 to Rio de Janeiro 2016, shooters using Steyr pistols have bagged 25 medals, 9 of them gold.
Leading Steyr’s charge at this IOSC will be the hugely experienced Sylvia who finished 6th just a few days back at the ISSF World Cup in Osijek. Sylvia had shot the second-best qualification score of 580 in Women’s 10m Air Pistol and even led after the first set of five shots in the final.
Though 39, Sylvia’s intensity had not waned. From the Steyr CO2, which was the earliest model Sylvia used, to the LP 10 and now the latest EVO 10E, the duo has become the unmistakable face of Austrian pistol shooting. Combine the potent weapon with Sylvia’s solid temperament, and Austria can look at a possible medal in Tokyo. Her longevity in the sport is because of dedicated training but the able guidance of father Franz as coach is also a factor. “I have grown with the Steyr air pistols, the service is good, and I will shoot with one forever,” said the World No.42.
Sylvia is no stranger to the IOSC as she had competed in the 5th edition in October. It was her online shooting debut, but Sylvia made her mark straightaway and shot the second-best qualification score behind India’s Olympic-bound shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal. The final though was not in accordance with Sylvia’s high standards and she finished a disappointing 4th.
Steyr shooters were clearly on a roll at the World Cup in Osijek which ended on Saturday. The list makes for impressive reading with gold in Women’s 10m Air Pistol going to Antoaneta Kostadinova with her Steyr Evo 10E. The Bulgarian was followed by Germany’s Carina Wimmer, who claimed silver with a Steyr LP10.
In Women’s 10m Air Pistol Team, the Steyr trio of Antoaneta, Miroslava Mincheva, Maria Grodeva of Bulgaria won the gold while Carina and India’s Rahi Sarnobat with their Steyr pistols were part of the silver and bronze medal winning teams.
The turnout was equally strong among men with Iran’s gold medallist in 10m Air Pistol Javad Foroughi in action with his Steyr Evo 10. It was double joy for Javad as he had claimed the top spot at the World Cup in New Delhi in March too.
In 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team, Steyr shooters were again at the forefront with Russia’s Artem Chernousov being a part of the gold winning team while bronze was won by Iran’s Golnoush Sebghatollahi and Javad Foroughi.
Over the years, Steyr has been associated with excellence in pistol shooting. But of late, the company has emerged as a major force in rifle shooting as well and this got reflected in the results at the World Cup in Osijek.
In Men’s 10m Air Rifle, Vladimir Maslennikov of Russia bagged silver with his Steyr Challenge E.
In the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team, Russia’s Sergey Kamenskiy was part of the silver medal winning team while the bronze was won by Anastasia Galashina and Vladimir Maslennikov with their Steyr Challenge.