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Shooting: Singapore's Veloso wins World Cup 10m air rifle gold

Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso clinched a gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, Germany, on Sunday.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso clinched a gold medal in the women's 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, Germany, on Sunday.

One of the youngest participating athletes at the World Cup, 14-year-old Veloso defeated some of the best shooters in the world, including 2008 Olympic Champion Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic.

Veloso arrived in Munich after winning this year's Asian Championship in Kuwait City, and that gave her the confidence to face opponents like Emmons and the 2010 European champion Andrea Arsovic of Serbia.

Veloso led the match, firing some of the best shots of the day, and closing the match on top of the scoreboard with 206.9 points.

"I'm really happy to win the gold medal. There were older and more experienced shooters in this World Cup. I was quite floored at the opportunity of competing against them," said Veloso.

"When I found out that I had won, I was really shocked. Beating Katerina Emmons, who won the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games gold medal, is a big deal for me."

"I decided to start shooting two years ago, when I was 12 and my school organised a shooting programme," said Veloso.

"There were a lot of students going for it, and I was hand-picked by my coach. I was one of the few who got selected. I'm really grateful for that."

"I am so happy!" said Veloso.

At 13 years old, Veloso wrote her name in the Singapore's book of national records when she hit a perfect 400 points in the women's 10m air rifle event.

She broke Olympian Jasmine Ser's record of 399 at the HomeTeamNS Invitation Shoot on 3 February 2013.

Next aim? "The Youth Olympic Games, that will take place in August, in Nanjing, China," she added.

Emmons took the silver medal with 206.6 points, pocketing her first World Cup medal since 2012.

Arsovic secured the bronze medal with 184.6 points after fighting head and head against Emmons for the second step of the podium.

The 29-year-old rifle expert Wu Liuxi of China was one of the favourites but her experience was not enough to stand the excellent scores of the medallists. With a total of 164.2 points, Wu dropped out of the elimination round final at the 16th shot, ending up in fourth place. 

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