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Duestad dominates to add World Cup Final gold to bronze in women’s 50m rifle 3 positions

Jeanette Duestad added gold in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions at the Doha World Cup Final to the bronze she had won in the 10m air riflefinishing 4.2 points clear of her Norwegian team-mate Jenny Stene.

Earlier the men’s title had gone to France’s 22-year-old Lucas Kryzs, who lost and then regained his lead over China’s Liu Yukun in the space of the final three shots.

There was no such drama in the women’s final, where the 24-year-old world No.1 finished on 464.8 points having established a lead in the opening kneeling phase that she never looked like relinquishing.

Lisa Mueller took bronze ahead of her German team-mate Jolyn Beer, who had topped qualifying.

“It felt really good the whole entire final,” Duestad told ISSF TV. “It has been an incredible season and to finish it like this – it couldn’t be better.

The season is quite long but I managed to find some energy.

Reflecting on a lead that at one point stretched to 4.8 points, she commented: “But its not just a positiveto be that far in front. Because it’s like you are thinking ‘I really have to mess up if this is not going the right way.’

But I managed to focus and in the end it was comfortable.

Stene added: “It was a nerve-wracking final and Iwas feeling the pressure all along but it was good to be on the podium with a team-mate.

“If I am not winning it’s a good thing that Jeanette is!

“I wasn’t really thinking of catching her, I was thinking more about myself.

She was up there and I was doing my own business!”

Duestad had headed the field on 156.0 after the first section phase, 0.5 ahead of Stene, with Beer third on 154.9.

By the end of the prone phase Duestad was a clear point ahead of Stene on 313.3, with Mueller third on 311.8 and Beer fourth on 311.3.

For China’s world champion Zhang Qiongyue, however, the cause was forlorn as she trailed the leader by 12.2 despite scoring one perfect 10.9.

The Olympic champion, Nina Christen, was also in jeopardy ahead of the elimination section in seventh place, although she was only 0.5 adrift of the sixth-place Chinese shooter Shi Mengyao.

Inevitably Zhang made her exit in eighth place, accompanied by seventh-placed Mary Carolynn Tucker of the United States.

While Christen had moved up to fifth, a score of 9.0 on shot 41 made her the next to leave in sixth place.

Kryzs, who led the men’s final by 2.1 points going into the concluding elimination phase of the standing competition, saw Liu move ahead of him with the 43rd of the 45 scheduled shots.

Having seen his lead trimmed to 0.1 after scoring 9.8 in the previous roundKryzs improved to 10.5, but an outstanding 10.8 from Liu saw the latter move into the lead, by 0.2, with two shots remaining as Jiri Privratsky of the Czech Republic became the unlucky man who finished one place outside the medals.

Finally the tension told on Liu, however, as he shot a 9.4 and Kryzs scored 10.0 to regain his lead by 0.9 points, 455.2 to 454.3, with Jon-Hermann Hegg of Norway, who had led after the kneeling phase, taking bronze on 451.1.

Liu raised his game superbly with his 45th and final shot, scoring 10.7, but it was still not enough to take gold as Kryzs remained steady on 10.0 to claim the title with a clenching of his right fist.

It was not easy with a very high level in the final,” Kryzs told ISSF TV.

I was near the top at the start. My prone was not of the best but good enough to keep me there.

As for the standing, it was difficult, but I did enough to win in the end.

Now we will be working hard for Paris 2024 – and we will see what happens there.

Hegg, so often strong on the final section of this event, gave an indication of how tough it is to compete efficiently with so much at stake:

“When there is not much pressure the standing is good for me, but today I got a lot of tension in my legs and it was hard to deal with it. Today though it ended up well.”

Hegg had led after the initial kneeling discipline with 157, 1.0 ahead of the Frenchman, with Privratsky third on 155.6.

By the end of the prone section, however, Kryzs had moved into a clear lead on 313.4, from Jan Lochbihler of Switzerland on 311.3 and Hegg third on 311.2, just 0.1 ahead of Lochbihler’s team-mate Christoph Duerr.

Austria’s world champion Alexander Schmirl was the first man out in eighth place, accompanied by seventh-placed Duerr.

Next out was Lochbihler, who had plummeted into the danger zone with an 8.5 score.

Despite fine scores of 10.3 and 10.4 India’s Akhil Sheoran could not do enough to prevent his own exit in fifth place after the 42nd shots, and the Frenchman’s lead was cut to 0.1 as he shot 9.8 and Liu moved up with a 10.0.

Cue the final drama…

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