SHANGHAI, China, Sep 1 – Olympic shooting champion Yi Siling had to contend with a very personal distraction at the Chinese National Games: her kicking unborn child.
The 28-year-old, who won a gold medal in 10 metre air rifle at the London 2012 Olympics and a bronze last year at the Rio Games, came a distant 28th place in qualifying in Tianjin on Thursday.
But the former world number one had a good reason for her relatively poor showing at the National Games — she is more than five months pregnant.
Yi repeatedly whispered to her unborn baby while taking aim, “My dear, please keep calm when mum shoots,” reported the state Xinhua news agency.
“The most obvious thing is the fact that my baby kicks me sometimes,” Yi told Xinhua, explaining the challenges of competing while pregnant.
“We deem this experience a good and special pre-natal education. It’s great to compete in the National Games with my child.”
Yi and her husband sought the advice of doctors before getting permission to take part in the competition.