August 27, 2018 11:18
The southeastern port city of Changwon in South Gyeongsang Province will host the 52nd International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Shooting Championships from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15. Held every four years, it is one of the five major global sporting events along with the Olympics and the World Cup.
It is the first time in 40 years that the championships has taken place in Asia, after the 1978 event in Seoul. This year's event is expected to draw 3,417 athletes and 838 staff from 91 countries -- the most ever. They will compete in 60 events in four categories -- pistol, rifle, shotgun, and running target.
A North Korean delegation will participate in this year's championships. Twelve athletes will compete in 14 events, with 10 staff accompanying them.
It will serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. South Korea will have the biggest delegation of 225 shooters, led by Olympic champion Jin Jong-oh and Kim Jun-hong, the world record holder in the men's 25-m rapid fire pistol. Other strong candidates include Kim Jong-hyun in the men's 50-m rifle prone, Lee Jong-jun in the men's skeet, Jung Eun-hea in the women's 10-m air rifle and Kim Jin-ji in the women's skeet.
Jin will compete in the newly created 10-m air pistol mixed team event on Sept. 2 and the men's 10-m air pistol on Sept. 6.
The Changwon International Shooting Center is the only shooting venue in the world located in a city center, making it easily accessible for athletes and spectators. It is capable of holding most shooting events from air pistol to target sprint with an electronic scoring system in place. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the center.
Changwon Mayor Heo Seong-mu said, "We will work hard to make these world championships a successful event that all participants and visitors can enjoy. We want to take this opportunity to promote our city to the rest of the world. As we welcome delegates from North Korea, we will also try out best to contribute to the government's ongoing efforts to improve inter-Korean relations."
The city is working to make the event a "festival" for all. It is offering tickets at affordable prices. All the elimination rounds are open to the public for free, and entry to the final rounds costs only W5,000 per day per discipline (US$1= W1,119). It will also run programs where visitors can also experience shooting hands-on.
Tickets can be booked through the official website of the championships until Tuesday with the number limited to 10 per person. They will also be made available at the venue from Wednesday.
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