The Russian Olympic Committee's Vitalina Batsarashkina celebrates winning the 10 metre air pistol Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Vitalina Batsarashkina carved herself a small piece of history as the first gold medallist at Tokyo 2020 for Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

She won the women’s 10 metre air pistol with a dramatic shot in the last round to snatch victory at the Asaka Shooting Range. 

It gave her gold with a total score of 240.3 points. 

She had been in silver medal position throughout the final but held her nerve in the decisive moments to set an Olympic record.

Batsarashkina, who wore a mask while competing, said: "In Rio it was absolutely different, there were no masks, we could hug each other and we could talk to each other, but it does not affect your shooting.

"I don't understand yet that I won the gold medal.

"In Rio it was my first time. 

"I cannot say that it was easy and simple; it was hard. 

"I didn't understand much of what was going on there and it's the same situation here because I still haven't grasped what happened.

“I did not set a goal to win or to become one of the medallists or to be in the final.

"I just wanted to shoot as well as I could."

Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Kostadinova won the 10 metre air pistol Olympic silver medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Kostadinova won the 10 metre air pistol Olympic silver medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Batsarashkina had taken Olympic silver in this event at Rio 2016, but her victory here meant that she became the first to hear Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto which has been designated as the ROC's victory anthem for these Games following the ban on them using their flag and national anthems following a ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

It was heartbreak for Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Kostadinova, who had led at every stage of the final until the last round. 

“This is the first shooting medal for Bulgaria since 2004 and I am very happy that I am the person to take it finally," Kostadinova said.

"Actually, before the last shot, nothing was in my head. I already had a medal and it didn’t matter what kind.”

"In the end, every athlete has come here for a medal, it doesn’t matter what colour."

“I saw how many people were happy for me, without my coach and my family I would not be holding this medal. 

"This is for my country and people who love shooting sports."

She finished with a score of 239.4 points to crown what has been her best year with a silver medal.

China's double World Championships gold medallist Jiang Ranxin took bronze with 218.3 points.

In the men's 10m air rifle, the young guns dominated, where 20-year-old William Shaner won Olympic gold.

His final score of 251.6 was a new Olympic record.

He is the youngest champion since China’s  Zhu Qinan won as a 19-year-old at Athens 2004.

“It feels amazing," Shaner said. 

"I'm only 20, but I've been doing this since I was eight. 

"I've been doing this a long time, so I've been able to get a good score and progress. 

"To finally achieve what I came here to do is amazing.

“I was mostly feeling pretty calm. 

"I did my job where I had to.

"I don’t focus too much on the outcome, I just focus on what I need to do and it went pretty good for me.”

20-year-old William Shaner won the gold in the 10 metre pistol at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
20-year-old William Shaner won the gold in the 10 metre pistol at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

Sheng Lihao of China, who won’t celebrate his 17th birthday until December 4, clinched the silver medal.

At 16 years and 233 days old, he is the youngest ever shooter to win an Olympic medal.

"I’ve been really nervous but I have enjoyed the whole competition," admitted Sheng.

"I was so nervous because this is my first international experience, I was really nervous 

"I just hope I can get better and compete more at international level.

Sheng had begun to track Shaner after the first competition stage of this final and remained an ever-present threat, outshooting the American in the last two rounds but eventually he fell just short.

Another Chinese shooter, Nanjing Youth Olympic Games and 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Yang Haoran finished with a score of 229.4 for the bronze medal.

"The whole competition was very intense and I felt so nervous," said Yang. 

"I’m satisfied about my performance.

"I was definitely very nervous in the qualification, I just wanted to make sure I made it into the final eight."