Sports

Shooting-Avid gamer Batsarashkina flaunts medals and medallion

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TOKYO, July 27 (Reuters) - Gold medallist Vitalina Batsarashkina's shooting skill is not the only thing about the Russian sharp-shooter that is attracting attention at the Tokyo Games.

The newly minted Olympic champion in women's 10-metre air pistol, who led her Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team to the silver in the mixed team event on Tuesday, has been roaming the Asaka Shooting Range with a Witcher medallion dangling from her neck. read more

"The Witcher" is a popular series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which has spawned a film, TV series, video games and graphic novels. In the books, "witchers" use supernatural abilities to hunt wild beasts and monsters.

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Social media users zeroed in on the medallion worn by Batsarashkina, an avid gamer, that showed the stylised face of a wolf with its teeth bared.

"This is my Olympic crush now," said Twitter user "lana_del_prey".

A spokesperson of CD Projekt, the company behind the video game, dug out a 2018 photograph of the shooter in a Witcher-themed shirt, praising her "years-long commitment to the Witcher universe".

The 24-year-old, however, would not call it her lucky charm.

"It's not a talisman. It's a medallion from a video game," Batsarashkina said after the team event on Tuesday.

"I can't call it a talisman because even when I didn't even wear it or forgot it at home, I still got medals."

Russian athletes are competing in Tokyo under the ROC flag as part of sanctions for several doping scandals.

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Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Karishma Singh

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