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September 15, 2000
Shooters eye first gold of the Games
The first medals of the Sydney Olympics will not, as has been widely reported, be decided in the women's triathlon on Saturday morning but instead will be handed out in the women's 10 metres air rifle competition.
While the world's attention is focused on the triathlon in and around Sydney's spectacular harbour, the shooters will be going about their business in the calmer surroundings of Cecil Park, some 50 km (30 miles) inland.
The triathlon was selected as the curtain-raiser in 1997 because of the marvellous views of the harbour it will provide on television -- and because Australia are heavily favoured to win the gold medal.
It begins at 10 a.m. (2300 GMT Friday) and the winners will cross the line in front of the Opera House just under two hours later.
But at just about the time when they are climbing off their bikes and setting off on their 10 km run, the final pellet will be thudding into its target in the 10 metres shooting final.
It maintains the Olympic tradition of shooting being the first medal sport and, accordingly, International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch will be at the Shooting Centre to present the medals.
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