Shooting at Rio Games to end with duel for the gold

Shooting is all set for a different look at the Rio Olympics with a new format for the finals, here are a few things to look forward to in Shooting at the Rio Olympics.

The ISSF has altered the finals format for Olympic events, starting all finalists at zero with eliminations that culminate in a final duel for the gold medal.   -  AP

Shooting will have a different look at the Rio Olympics this summer.

The International Shooting Sport Federation altered the finals format for Olympic events. All the shooters will start the finals at zero, as the qualification scores won't be carried over. Then, the shooters will compete in knockouts until it comes down to the final two who will fight for gold.

The ISSF made the changes in an effort to make the sport more appealing to younger generations and make it more fan-friendly. The rules were put in place in 2013 and should make things interesting in Rio.

A few more things to look for from the shooting events at the Rio Games are:

THE RUNDOWN: Shooting at the Rio Olympics will include 15 events — nine in the men's section and six on the distaff side. The dates for the competition are August 6-14 at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro Olympic Park, which will also be the venue for rugby, equestrian, BMX and mountain bike racing, pentathlon and kayaking competitions

RHODE’S RIDE: Swimmer Michael Phelps is the most decorated American Olympian with 22 medals. Kim Rhode has a chance to do something not even Phelps has accomplished. Should the 36-year-old skeet shooter earn a medal in Rio, she will become the first U.S. Olympian to earn medals in six straight Olympics. A string of health issues put Rhode in danger of missing the Rio Games, but she came through when needed to, earning the team nomination at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Arkansas in May. Rhode is the first American woman in an individual sport to earn medals in five straight Olympics, winning her first three in double trap and her last two in skeet.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Shooting at the Olympics is nothing new to Georgian Nino Salukvadze; the Rio Games will be her eighth. This one will be extra special with her 18-year-old son there with her. Tsotne Machavariani shot a personal best in 10-metre air pistol at the European championships in February to earn a surprise Olympic spot, creating what is believed to be the first mother-son duo to compete in the same Olympics. Salukvadze won the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics in the 25m pistol and became a celebrity at the 2008 Beijing Games when she kissed a Russian shooter on the podium at a time when Georgia and Russia were at war.

OLYMPIAN EFFORT: Jay Shi was nine when he was working on a class project with scissors and stabbed himself in the eye. Doctors were able to restore his vision after the family moved from Beijing to the United States, but far from perfectly. Unable to see three dimensionally or judge distances well, Shi, who took up shooting about a decade ago, was forced to shoot cross-eyed with the gun in his right hand and left eye aiming at the target. He failed to qualify for the Olympics in his home country in 2008 and the 2012 London Games as he tried to find a method that worked. Shi finally broke through this season, dominating the Olympic Trials in free pistol.

CHASING CHINA: China will be the favourite in Rio after dominating the past two Games. The Chinese won five gold and seven medals overall in Beijing 2008 and had the most medals in London with two golds and five overall. Guo Wenjun will be looking for a three-peat after becoming the first woman to repeat her performance in the women's 10m air pistol four years ago and Yi Siling will defend the 10m women’s air rifle gold.

EYE ON EMMONS: Matt Emmons has seen his share of ups and downs during his career. He won gold in the 50m prone rifle at the 2004 Athens Games using a borrowed rifle after his was apparently sabotaged in the locker room. He missed on a chance of a double gold when he shot the wrong target in three-position rifle. Emmons had another three-position mishap at the 2008 Beijing Games. Despite comfortably leading, he accidentally hit the trigger and barely hit the ring on his final shot, dropping him to fourth. Emmons took silver in prone in Beijing and was the three-position bronze medalist in London 2012.

DIAMOND OUT: Australian Michael Diamond, one of the most decorated shooters in Olympic history, will not compete in Rio after being arrested in May on DUI and firearms charges. The two-time gold medalist in trap pleaded not guilty and his attorney asked the court to expedite his case so that it could finish before the July 4 Olympic selection cutoff. Diamond met with the Australian Olympic Committee’s executive board in late June to plead his case, but Shooting Australia opted not to nominate him for Rio, a decision the AOC supported. Diamond has competed in six Olympics, winning gold in 1996 and 2000.