There is just one Olympic running target event. Athletes stand and shoot .177 caliber air rifles with telescopic sights (not exceeding four power) at paper targets moving across a track 10 meters away. The target has two bullseyes spaced roughly six inches apart; an aiming dot placed between them aids the shooter in tracking. The 10-ring on each bullseye is five millimeters wide, about the size of a pencil eraser.
Only men fire this event at world cups and the Olympics. Competition is open to men and women at U.S., continental, and world championships.
Running deer and running game target, 100- and 50-meter versions of this sport, were part of the Olympics at different times between 1900-88. Today's 10-meter event replaced running game target on the Olympic program in 1992.
The Guns: Shooters fire .177 caliber rifles that use air or gas to propel lead pellets downrange. This is the only shooting event in which competitors are permitted to use telescopic sights 4x magnification or less. World-class running target rifles (e.g. FWB 601, Anschutz 2002, Steyr) typically retail for $1500-$2000.
Course of Fire: The match consists of 60 shots divided into 30 slow runs and 30 fast runs. In slow run, athletes have five seconds to track, aim, and fire at the moving target. In fast run, the target is exposed for 2.5 seconds. Shooters start with their rifles at hip level and can only mount their guns once the target is exposed.
Perfect Match Score: 600 is perfect, 575 is world-class.
Finals: The top six competitors advance to a 10-shot fast-run final. Finals are scored in tenths of a point and added to match scores to determine winners. A perfect final score is 109.
Perfect Aggregate Score: 709 points.
Last U.S. Olympic Medal: The U.S. has not won a medal in the 10-meter event. John Boles won the gold in running deer shooting, at the 1924 Games in Paris.
NON-OLYMPIC INTERNATIONAL PISTOL EVENTS
Open (men and women)10-meter mixed runs, 50-meter, 50-meter mixed runs.
FOR ALL EVENTS:
Clothing, Equipment, and Accessories
Competitors wear leather or canvas jackets that are tighter than those worn by rifle shooters. The jackets inhibit upper body movement, forcing more lower body movement in tracking targets. Flat-soled shooting boots are commonly worn for balance and stability. Jackets cost from $275-$600, pants sell for $200-$450, and shooting boots typically go for $150.
Seven of the eight men on the national running target team are performance standard qualified, meaning they have shot scores of 565 or above.
We have the strength and the depth to do extremely well this year, says National Running Target Coach Martin Edmondson.
Two of those shooters to watch are Lonn Saunders, the current national champion in 10-meter mixed, and Michael Johnson, who earned silver medals in three events at the 1994 USA Shooting National Championships.
The Czech, Hungarian and German shooters continue to present the toughest challenge for the U.S. Some of the intemational shooters to beat: 1992 Olympic gold medalist Michael Jakosits of Gemmany; Czech Lubos Racanski, world and European medalist; and Hungarian Joseph Sike, winner of several world cup medals.
Olympic shotgun competition includes three events for men and one for women.
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