Baku, June 15, AZERTAC
Experienced Irada Ashumova (AZE) is no stranger to international competitions.
At 57, she is the oldest athlete at the Baku 2015 European Games and boasts two silver medals won at the world championships in Barcelona (1998) and Lahti, Finland (2002), and a bronze picked up at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
But the Baku 2015 European Games represent a new experience for Ashumova for two reasons.
"I'm really proud to compete in the first European Games here in Baku," she said. "Although I already won many medals from different competitions, I am so excited.
"But I am a realistic person," Ashumova said. "Since 2012, we haven't had any training venue in Baku. This shooting centre (the Baku Shooting Centre) was opened in April 2015, and we could not train well. That is why I cannot tell if I will win any medals."
Ashumova will compete in three events in Baku: the women's 10m air pistol, 25m pistol and the mixed team 10m air pistol, in which she will shoot with her son, Ruslan Lunev (AZE), for the first time.
"We are really excited as a family as well," Ashumova said. "Because I will compete with my son. Ruslan is in good shape. His dad (Vladimir Lunev, AZE) is our coach and he really believes in him.
"We call Ruslan the 'unlucky-point man', as he lost a medal in previous competitions just by a point. Not two or three. Just one point. But hopefully here we will get some good results as a family."
"I am so excited and nervous about this competition," Ruslan Lunev said. "I feel the pressure as I will compete with my mother for the first time ever, and also because my family is waiting for some success from my side."
As well as the mixed team 10m air pistol, Ruslan Lunev competes in two other events at the Games, just like his mother: men's 25m rapid fire pistol and 10m air pistol.
"In the men's 10m air pistol European rankings I am placed 25th," he said. "Hopefully, I will prove myself, I'm good at it and I will get a medal doing my best."
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