Rio Olympics 2016: All you need to know about the 10m air rifle event

Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra won gold in 2008

All Indian eyes were on two of their best hopes for a medal who competed in the 10m air rifle qualification event earlier today – Gagan Narang and Abhinav Bindra. It was only Bindra who qualified for the final, however, as he finished 7th, while Narang finished 23rd to get knocked out.

This version of the rifle event is extremely competitive; in the entire history of the event, no one has been able to defend their gold medal in either the men’s event or the women’s event. There are however a few different rules between the men’s and women’s versions and for those who are looking to know more about this event, we have it all covered here.

What is the 10-metre air rifle event?

As the name suggests, the event pits a shooter 10 metres away from a target whose centre is located at a height of 1.4 metres above the ground. There are 10 rings within the target and a further 10 rings within the ten-point circle, so the maximum a shooter can score from one shot is 10.9.

Often you would see some of the players using some specialised cloth, this is done to improve the stability of the shooters and it is completely legitimate.

The rifle for use in this event is of a 4.5mm calibre with a maximum weight of 5.5kg.


The rules are fairly simple for this event, during the qualification round the men have to take 60 shots in 75 minutes. The maximum a shooter can score from his 60 shots is 654 points.

Women get 40 shots in their 50 minutes and the same scoring rule applies as well with 10.9 being the highest score from one shot.


After the qualification event, the top eight scorers make it to the final round. This is where a slew of new rule changes have been brought in to make the event more exciting.

The ISSF revamped the rules for the finals and the eight shooters start from 0. They are to then take 2 sets of 3 shots each, which are to be fired within 150 seconds from one series, and then there are 14 shots to be taken after the 2 sets of 3. These 14 shots must be fired within 50 seconds of each other.

Shooters are eliminated after the eighth shot, so the lowest scorer after the 2 sets of 3 and two additional shots cannot take part in the event anymore, and each lowest scoring shooter is eliminated after the next set of two shots. If two finalists have the same score after all the shots, a shootout is held between the tied contestants.

The same scoring system is set in the final round, with 10.9 being the highest score for a shooter – for a highest possible score of 218.

Indians at the 2016 event:

Men: Gagan Narang, Abhinav Bindra

Women: Apurva Chandeli, Ayonika Paul

London 2012 result:


Gold: Alin George Moldoveanu (Romania)

Silver: Niccolo Campriani (Italy)

Bronze: Gagan Narang (India)


Gold: Siling Yi (China)

Silver: Sylwia Bogacka (Poland)

Bronze: Dan Yu (China)

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Edited by Staff Editor
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