You can’t keep a good athlete down for long. Steyr shooter and World No 41 Etienne Germond announced his comeback from injury in style by topping the qualification of the 8th International Online Shooting Championship (IOSC) with a score of 628.4. However, he will not take part in the final on Sunday due to a prior commitment.
The 32-year-old from Paris had to go into a forced break after he had an Achilles tendon rupture in his right foot, and Saturday was the year’s first IOSC for one who has come to be associated with online competitions organised by indianshooting.com.
The other shooters to make final are Mireia Rossello (Spain) 625.9, Viktoriya Tsarenko (Ukraine) 622.2, Nicolas Mompac (France) 622.0, Visnu Shivraj Pandian (India) 621.1, Dimitri Dutendas (France) 620.6, Shiri Sternberg (Israel) 620.3 and Tetyana Halkina (Ukraine) 619.3. Since Etienne has decided to skip the final, the 9th placed Julianna Hays (USA) who shot 619.0 moved up one place to make the cut for the final.
Etienne’s last international outing was the Osijek ISSF World Cup in June, where he finished 13th in Men’s 10m Air Rifle with a score of 626.0.
Etienne turned to Steyr as “I was looking for a strong rifle with a solid concept and quality. I was also interested in Steyr for their electronic trigger and the fact that the recoil was low. I haven’t been disappointed as this rifle is easy to set up. To ensure an easy transition from my previous rifle, the Steyr support team provided me with all the necessary stuff to adapt. A fast transition was the key as we were only 3-4 weeks away from the New Delhi ISSF World Cup (which later got cancelled due to the pandemic) and I needed to get a great feeling fast. Now, whenever I have a question about my rifle or need advice to set it up, I know the Steyr team is there to provide a quick and fantastic response. This is a real advantage because as a high-level athlete every training is crucial for a top performance. So, the time saved with online support is really appreciated.”
For young Visnu, competing with some of the best names in the online format will be a part of the learning curve. The 17-year-old is no pushover though as he has proved his mettle by winning the 5th IOSC and other strong results in this format. Being the only name to feature in the final from the India, the pressure will be on Visnu, but he is known to have a cool head and can cope with the pressure of expectations and a final.
The final line-up makes for impressive reading with the likes of Miriea, Shiri, Nicolas and Dimitri well versed in online shooting besides strong performances in ISSF events. Mireia, looked in great form with the second best qualification score of 625.9 and her chances for a podium finish can in no way be discounted.
Nicolas’, 20, best finish in an ISSF event has been as a junior at the 2019 Bologna European Championship with a 7th spot in 50m Rifle Three Positions. Similarly, the strength of the French contingent can be gauged from the steady rise of Dimitri, who finished 17th in Bologna 2019 in the same event as Nicolas.
At 15, Shiri is a name to watch out and her experience of online shooting will surely come handy in Sunday’s final.
The Ukrainian duo of Viktoriya Tsarenko and Tetyana Halkina have shot at multiple ISSF competitions and can put up a very strong performance in the final. It may be recollected that Tetyana was the only woman in the final at the last edition of the IOSC for rifle shooters.