February 21 - Olympic champions Zhu Qinan (pictured left) and Olena Kostevych have been named the 2011 Shooters of the Year by international press representatives and members of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) athletes and coaches committees.
Chinese shooter Qinan has been the leading 10 metre air rifle shooter on the men's circuit in recent times.
He switched to 50m rifle 3 and claimed gold medals at World Cup events in Sydney and Fort Benning in the United States during 2011.
"This award will motivate me to do more and to do it better," said Zhu, who has his sights on success at London 2012, and looks set to add to the gold he won in Athens eight years ago.
"I will be better inspired to push forward the development of my shooting.
"I want to win another Olympic gold in London, that's my goal, and I want to win it in a different competition: the 50m rifle 3 positions men event."
The 26 year-old Kostevych (pictured) also won in Sydney and Fort Benning last year, claiming gold in the 10m air pistol in the US and the 25m pistol crown in Australia.
The Ukrainian also claimed the 10m air pistol World Cup title, and is hoping to add to the Olympic gold medal she won in Athens.
Belarusian competitor Sergei Martynov and Germany's Christian Reitz came second and third respectively in the men's vote, whilst Jessica Rossi of Italy and American Kimberly Rhode finished behind Kostevych in the women's event.
The winners were chosen for their achievements during 2011 and for representing the values of the sport.
The pair will be honoured officially by ISSF authorities during the London 2012 shooting test event in April at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]thegames.biz