Friday, August 4, 2017, 01:53
There was Zhang Shan, standing at the top of the podium. She was surrounded by men, as usual, but this time she had managed to beat them all. For this she had spent a lifetime preparing. “You have to give your time to the service of the country,” the Chinese woman said in 2008, 16 years after becoming the first woman to win Olympic gold in skeet, a clay pigeon shooting discipline that in 1992 was still mixed. She had sacrificed a good part of her personal life to achieve glory at the Barcelona Games and ended up entering the annals of the sport.
In the final she was the only woman among the six participants: two Italians, a Romanian, an American, the Spanish José María Colorado and her. It was not her best series and she achieved 23 points, one less than three of her rivals, but in the two previous rounds she had already cemented the gold, which would be accompanied by the world record. In the first phase, six more women accompanied Zhang Shan, although no other managed to qualify among the top 25 for the semifinals. The Chinese did it with 150 points, full of successes and solo leader. She also didn’t leave a measly plate unbroken in the next round, in which she added 50 more points to her locker and became the only shooter – shooter in her case – to complete a perfect service record. until that moment.
In 1992, Zhang Shan was 24 years old and had spent seven years preparing for the Barcelona event. After them, she focused entirely on her economics studies, although she returned to skeet to qualify for Sydney 2000, where she failed to get on the podium, already in the women’s category. She failed in her efforts to be in Athens 2004 and she was also unable to fulfill her dream of retiring in Beijing 2008. In any case, she had already made history. Never before had a woman defeated men in the Games.