PREVIEW-Olympics-Shooting-Jin, Salukvadze gunning for glory and history in Tokyo

NEW DELHI, July 1 (Reuters) - South Korean Jin Jong-oh will be chasing a fifth Olympic gold to cement his place as the most successful individual shooter in the history of the Games, and he will not be the only one hoping to secure a legacy in Tokyo.

Jin has monopolised the 50m free pistol title since the 2008 Beijing Games, and his 10m air pistol gold in 2012 has helped secure his spot as a shooting great.

Many thought Jin could have retired after the Rio Games five years ago but the 41-year-old, who also has two Olympic silver medals, has soldiered on, calling shooting “my life”.

Ukrainian Olena Kostevych will also hope to be bang on target on target on her return after giving birth.

The 36-year-old, who won the 10m air pistol gold in the 2004 Athens Games and is a two-time world champion, is set to compete in three events on her return to action.

American Vincent Hancock has already entered the record books having defended the skeet gold he had won in the 2008 Beijing Games in London four years later, becoming the first skeet shooter to do so.

Hancock returned empty handed from the 2016 Rio Games but the 32-year-old has looked in vintage form in the leadup to Tokyo and will once again spearhead the United States’ challenge in shotgun at the Asaka Shooting Range.

Nino Salukvadze’s medal prospects may not look that bright but irrespective of results, the 52-year-old Georgian will earn a slice of history as she becomes the first female athlete to compete in nine Olympics in Tokyo.

Men’s rifle three-positions will crown a new champion in Tokyo after three-time Olympic gold medallist Niccolo Campriani hung up his gun.

Campriani has since devoted himself to mentoring refugee athletes in their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

Tokyo will mark the debut of three mixed-gender team events, along with six events for men and an equal number for women. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis)