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Chinese shooter Zhang Cuiping wins 1st gold at London Paralympics

08-30-2012 21:45 BJT Special Report:2012 Paralympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shooter Zhang Cuiping pocketed home the first gold medal at 500.9 points in the women's R2-10m air rifle standing at the London Paralympic Games here on Thursday.

Zhang Cuiping of China bites her gold medal during the awarding ceremony
for the final of the Women's R2-10m Air Rifle Standing-SH1 shooting event
at London 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Britain, on Aug. 30, 2012.
Zhang took the gold medal with 500.9 rings. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei)

Zhang, 25, cannoned a new Paralympic record in qualification round at 396 points, three points more than South Korean shooter Kim Im-Yeon's former record which was created 12 years ago.

Zhang rocketed up to break Kim's both final world record and final Paralympic record to top the standings.

Gold medalist, Zhang Cuiping (C) of China, silver medalist, Manuela Schmermund (L) of Germany, bronze medalist, Natalie Smith of Australia pose for photos after the awarding ceremony for the final of the Women's R2-10m Air Rifle Standing-SH1 shooting event at London 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Britain, on Aug. 30, 2012. Zhang took the gold medal with 500.9 rings. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei)

Athens Paralympics champion Manuela Schmermund of Germany bagged the silver at 493.6 and Natalie Smith from Australia captured the bronze at 492.4.

"It's definitely a career best performance. It felt so good that I didn't want to put down my gun when it's over," laughed Zhang who learned shooting about nine years ago, despite suffering spinal cord injuries due to congenital since three-year-old.

Zhang Cuiping (R) of China poses with her coach Wang Ping after the awarding ceremony for the final of the Women's R2-10m Air Rifle Standing-SH1 shooting event at London 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Britain, on Aug. 30, 2012. Zhang took the gold medal with 500.9 rings. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei)

Wrapped up two silvers and one bronze in her debut four years ago, the former tailor looked forward to win more golds with three more events to go at the London Games.

"My family didn't know about my victory yet, but I believe that they will be proud and thrilled," said Zhang who got married in 2009, "To me, marriage means more responsibility. It makes me stronger."

The first London Olympics gold medal was also taken by a Chinese female shooter named Yi Siling. Zhang watched live broadcast a month ago and appraised Yi as an "inspirational idol".

Gold medalist, Zhang Cuiping (C) of China, silver medalist, Manuela Schmermund (L) of Germany, bronze medalist, Natalie Smith of Australia celebrate during the awarding ceremony for the final of the Women's R2-10m Air Rifle Standing-SH1 shooting event at London 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Britain, on Aug. 30, 2012. Zhang took the gold medal with 500.9 rings. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei)

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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