Defeating SHENG Lihao (250.9) of the People’s Republic of China, William Shaner won gold in the men’s 10m air rifle event and established a new Olympic record.
William Shaner Olympic Games
The 20-year-old American had nerves of steel to finish with a score of 251.6 after holding the lead for the whole of the final. He won the gold medal at the second-youngest age of any competitor.
After years of trying, “it was good to bring it back home now,” Shaner said of the team’s medal win.
After finishing first in qualifying, People’s Republic of China’s YANG Haoran (229.4) had to settle for bronze after being defeated by teammate Sheng.
This is China’s second Olympic gold and silver medal performance in the men’s 10m air rifle event, following their success in Athens in 2004.
It was Sheng’s first senior medal, and he set a record for being the youngest Olympic medalist in any sport.
Hungary’s István Péni, the world no. 1, qualified for the finals in seventh place but lost to Turkey’s Omer Akgun, who went on to place fifth. The United States’ third-ranked athlete, Lucas Kozeniesky, who came in at number 21 in Rio 2016, came in at number six here.
Biography of William Shaner
William took first place at the Olympic Games of 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, for men’s 10m air rifle. Being one of the best high school shooters in the country, he was a first team All-American in both air rifle and smallbore at the collegiate level and was voted NCAA Rookie of the Year.
As a sophomore, William and his squad from UK won the NCAA air rifle team championship and individual silver. It was his junior year when he accomplished the same thing for UK again.
William’s involvement in shooting sports began at the age of nine, when he joined a local 4-H club in Rifle, Colorado. Before qualifying for big contests, he shot in the monthly PTO events held at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.
At the tender age of 11, he won the 50-meter prone event at the Junior Olympics, earning him his first gold medal and propelling him into the international circuit. Just over a decade later, William has become the youngest American to qualify for the Olympics in the men’s rifle event.
William is driven to be a role model for aspiring shooting athletes by his love of the sport and his appreciation of his small-town upbringing.