Coaching Analysis - Wang Yifu
Most people would be happy with one Olympic Gold medal. Wang Yifu had 3: Gold in Barcelona 1992 and two Silver medals in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. Now he's added to his tally by winning the Gold Medal in Men's Air Pistol at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Imagine that: winning medals at four consecutive Olympics and setting an Olympic's Finals Record with a score of 690.0 points! The following video and pictures were all taken at the Athens' World Cup in April 2004, just months before the event.
Wang (Yifu's last name) has a very quick shot, with little preparation. He almost seems to have his mind elsewhere, and then casually faces the target and raises. He tends to tilt a bit backwards at this stage, counter-balancing the pistol. He lifts above the target, then lowers with three distinct stops along the way. Once the shot breaks, he quickly benches the pistol with little noticeable follow-through.
Initially, I thought that he was just letting his non-shooting hand hang free. Not so: he anchors his non-shooting hand by placing his thumb in his pocket. By doing so, Yifu must wear the same pants, or a very similar cut to get a consistent position. In each of the following video and pictures, he wears the same track pants. Dumoulin, by the way, uses a belt with a little pouch or "thumb-holster" to get a consistent anchor, and consequently, has the option of wearing whatever he wants.
The above photos were taken by TargetShooting Canada, and are fully copywritten.