Kira_KlimovaJanuary 26 - Outstanding performances by Kira Klimova (pictured) of Russia and Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japan have won them the accolade of Shooters of the Year from international shooting sport journalists.

Matsuda won both the men's 10 metre air pistol and the 50m pistol events at the 50th ISSF World Championship in Munich last August, becoming the first Japanese athlete to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The sharpshooter, who started competing on the ISSF circuit in 2002, also finished on the podium at the ISSF World Cup Final in Munich and at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, this year, winning three bronze medals back to back.

"Winning two medals at the World Championship?" said Matsuda.

"I was more surprised rather than happy.

"I really wanted to make the final and get the quota place [for the Olympic Game], but I did not expect to finish in first.

"I am less experienced than others - but I am working on it."

Klimova also left her mark on the 2010 season, thanks to outstanding performances on the ISSF World Cup and World Championship circuits.

Boosted by two silver medals won at the ISSF World Cup Stage in Fort Benning, USA, in May, she walked into the 50th ISSF World Championship highly motivated, eventually winning the world title in the women's 25m pistol women event.

The young athlete, one of the first Russians to qualify for the 2012 Games, kept on winning at the closing match of the year, the ISSF World Cup Final held in Munich last October.

There, she won the 10m air pistol event with ease.