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Tokyo 2020: Seonaid McIntosh admits struggles after failing to qualify for air rifle final

Tokyo 2020: Seonaid McIntosh admits struggles after failing to qualify for air rifle final
© Reuters
Scottish shooter has second medal chance later in the Games as China's Yang Qian won the first gold medal of Tokyo 2020.

Scottish shooter Seonaid McIntosh missed out on a place in the women's 10 metre air rifle final at the Tokyo Olympics' opening medal event.

The 25-year-old Great Britain hopeful finished 12th of 50 starters, just 1.3 points off a top-eight spot that would have kept her medal chances alive.

But she will return to the Asaka Shooting Range next weekend to contest her premier event – the 50 metre rifle three positions – as world number one.

No British female shooter has won an Olympic medal, and Edinburgh-born McIntosh admitted that she "struggled a bit" with the early morning heat during more than an hour of competition.

With 60 shots to be fired, comprising six series of 10, her second half was stronger in terms of scoring, but a final shot of 9.3 points proved her lowest of the day.

McIntosh said: "I am mostly happy with how I fought through it.

"And while the last couple of shots weren't great, I am pleased with how I performed. I struggled a bit with fatigue and the heat.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Day One
Seonaid McIntosh in action at the Tokyo Olympics (Danny Lawson/PA)

"I just tried to focus on finding good shots and finishing the performance well. I didn't quite manage that, but I am really happy with the rest of the performance.

"If you had have asked me a year ago, I would have said this was a sighter for the 50m, but in the last year this event has got a lot better and I knew I was perfectly capable of winning a medal.

"I don't really know about next week. I need to process this first and know what to take forward.

"It's a very different event and it is about keeping that fight."

McIntosh has now emulated her sister Jennifer in competing at an Olympics and she will be among the medal favourites in her stronger discipline.

"I was really nervous to start with, and then the nerves went down and then I was really tired," she added.

"I kind of went down again at the very end. I was really nervous for the last few shots. I was trying to keep it together, I guess."

And on her preparations for Tokyo, she said: "I have been really lucky to be able to keep training at home, at least, but we have not had any competitions or anything, so from that point of view it is very different.

"I have done the best I could have done with what I had, so I cannot complain, really."

China's Yang Qian won the Games' first gold medal, edging out Anastasiia Galashina, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, with Switzerland's Nina Christen taking bronze.

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Gold medallist Yang Qian of China celebrates on the podium on July 24, 2021
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