Adele Tan Qian Xiu (born 1999) is a Singaporean air rifle shooter from the Singapore Shooting Association. She is best known for representing Singapore in the H&N Cup in 2020, where she won a gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle event with a score of 632.5 points.
From 2015-2019, Tan pursued an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at the Singapore Sports School. Although she has graduated from the school, she continues to train on its premises.
At present, she is an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she is majoring in psychology.
Proficiency in piano
Tan is also known to have a gift for piano. However, at 18 years old, she had to choose between piano or air rifling. She ultimately choose air rifling over piano as her love for the sport compelled her not to quit:
“It’s just that the passion is shooting. It’s like, I can’t quit. Something tells me I can’t quit because I love it too much. It’s more of an intrinsic kind of motivation. I really enjoy when I pull the trigger, that kind of satisfaction.”
Inspiration by Matthew Emmons
Tan is inspired by American shooter Matthew Emmons. Despite being a gold medalist, he is infamous for the errors he made throughout his air rifling career. In Athens 2004, for example, despite starting off on a strong note in the 50m rifle three-position final, he scored zero points in his last shot as he had fired at a rival’s target.
Regardless, Tan admires him because he is a paragon of resilience in her eyes:
“I think what was special about Emmons, despite his blunders, not just once but so many times, [was that] he is still able to tell the press his story so bravely. It just shows me resilience.”
Competitive air rifling
Tan has been involved in competitive air rifling since 2012. As of July 2021, she has made her mark on the international stage with two bronze medals at the Philippines Southeast Asian Games 2019 and a gold medal at the H&N Cup in 2020. Also of note is the Junior World Cup 2016, where Tan, along with Tessa Neo and Martina Veloso, clinched a bronze medal.
1. Junior World Cup 2016
On 3 May 2016, Tan competed in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany with Tessa Neo and Martina Veloso. The trio won a bronze medal with a combined total score of 1,236.6.
2. Asian Championships 2017
In 2017, Tan competed in the women’s 10m air rifle at the Asian Championships in Wako City, Japan. She won a bronze medal with a score of 228.1 points in this event.
3. ISSF Junior World Cup 2018
In 2018, Tan competed in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF Junior World Cup with Ho Xiu Yi and Martina Veloso. The trio clinched a silver medal in this event.
4. Southeast Asian Games 2019
In 2019, Tan competed in the Philippines Southeast Asian Games. She won two bronze medals in this competition, one for the women’s 10m air rifle event and another for the mixed 10m air rifle event.
When interviewed by SG Sports TV on her performance, Adele shared that achievements in air rifling were not fixed:
“Shooting is a very special sport. So even if I qualify first or qualify eighth, it does not mean that in finals I’ll have the same results. I expected myself to do better, but I felt that with whatever we have, we fought our hardest. So that’s the most important thing.”
5. H&N Cup 2020
On 26 January 2020, Tan competed in the H&N Cup in Munich, Germany, where she won the women’s 10m air rifle event with a score of 632.5 points. She also set a new national record with her win, with her score exceeding her teammate Ho Xiu Yi’s previous national record of 630.8.
Below is a tabulation of Tan’s most recent records.
|2021||Tokyo Olympics||Women’s 10m air rifle||625.3||21||Tokyo, Japan|||
|2020||H&N Cup||Women’s 10m air rifle||632.5||1||Munich, Germany|||
|2019||Southeast Asian Games||Women’s 10m air rifle||227.3||3||Manila, Philippines||, |
|2019||World Cup||Women’s 10m air rifle||626.2||22||Beijing, China|||
|2019||World Cup||Women’s 10m air rifle||625.1||50||Munich, Germany|||
|2019||World Cup||Women’s 10m air rifle||620.3||69||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|||
|2019||ISSF Junior World Cup||Women’s 10m air rifle||629.5||5||Suhl, Germany|||
|2019||ISSF Junior World Cup||50m Rifle Prone Women (R60PR)||615.2||32||Suhl, Germany|||
|2019||ISSF Junior World Cup||50m Rifle 3 Positions Women (R3X40)||1,157||33||Suhl, Germany|||
Selection for Tokyo Olympics
On 15 May 2021, the Singapore Shooting Association nominated Tan to represent it in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the Tokyo Olympics. This decision was made after a selection process that took 1½ years due to the onset of COVID-19 in 2020.
The selection process took into consideration four meets: the H&N Cup 2020 in Munich and three internal shoots that took place in Singapore. Tan had to contend with four other shooters, including London 2012 and Rio 2016 representative Jasmine Ser, 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Martina Veloso, and national teammates Tessa Neo and Ho Xiu Yi.
Tan admitted that the selection process was difficult for her, especially since she had to balance her training and internal shoots with her undergraduate studies as a psychology major at NUS. She believed that her achievement represented her ability to perform under pressure:
“This achievement reinstates my ability to perform under pressure. However, it is only the beginning, because I will be up against the world's best of the best and I have to be prepared to face even tougher obstacles. That being said, my team and I will work hard, and smart to prepare for the games.”
On 24 July 2021, Tan competed in the Tokyo Olympics at the Asaka Shooting Range. She placed 21st in the qualifiers of the women’s 10m air rifle event with a score of 625.3. Her placing marks a new record as the best finish for Singapore in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the Olympics.
Tan said that the Tokyo Olympics was by far the hardest battle she’s had to fight:
“I have to be very honest and say that this is probably the toughest qualification that I’ve had to battle. Not just shoot, it is literally a battle.”
Despite the difficulty she faced, Tan was still happy with her performance:
“I felt that today, actually, looking back, I'm quite satisfied with how I carried myself. Although, of course, there [is] still room for improvement.”
Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also the Singapore National Olympic Council president, was impressed at Tan representing Singapore for shooting at the Tokyo Olympics:
“Adele shared with me that she has been shooting for 10-11 years now and she is all of 22! Our shooting has really come some ways and it’s exciting to see new talent competing to represent Singapore.”
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