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Olympic sports

Last Updated: Thursday April 03 2008 12:11 GMT


Australia's Suzanne Balough aims during the women's trap finals at the 2004 Olympics Games

Shooting is one of the most technically skilled of all the events at the Games.

It's split into three different disciplines; shotgun, rifle and pistol.

Shotgun events involve competitors firing at moving targets, called clay pigeons, while rifle and pistol see shooters aiming at targets between 10m and 50m away.

In the six shotgun events the clay pigeons are fired into the air when the shooter asks for them, and the one who hits the most is the winner. There are three different ways for the clay pigeons to be released in the shotgun events.

  • In trap, there are three places targets are launched from. The shooter doesn't know where the targets will come from, and has two shots to hit each one.
  • In double trap, two targets are fired at once and the shooters can only fire one shot at each of them.
  • In skeet, targets are fired from lots of different locations, sometimes in pairs sometimes one at a time. Shooters have one shot to hit each.

In the rifle events shooters hope to hit tiny bullseyes in targets a long way from them.

The winner is the shooter with the most points, and sometimes the difference between winners and losers is very small indeed, perhaps a single point or two.