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Georgian to become first woman to compete in nine Olympics

2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Nino Salukvadze of the Georgia Olympic shooting team carries his country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

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The first time Nino Salukvadze competed at the Olympics, it was for the Soviet Union. Next year, the shooter is expected to become the first woman in any sport to participate in nine Olympics.

Salukvadze, 50, clinched an Olympic quota place for her native Georgia by finishing fifth at a 10m air pistol world cup in Beijing, according to the International Shooting Sport Federation.

She is expected to fill that quota in Tokyo next year and break her tie with Italian canoeist Josefa Idem-Guerrini and Canadian rower Lesley Thompson-Willie for Olympic appearances.

Salukvadze competed in every Olympics since the 1988 Seoul Games, representing the Soviet Union, then the Unified Team and then Georgia for the last seven Olympics. She earned gold and silver medals as a 19-year-old in 1988, then a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, where she famously exchanged a kiss on the cheek with a Russian medalist while the nations were at war.

In Rio, Salukvadze and Tsotne Machavariani became what was believed to be the first mother and son to compete at the same Olympics.

Canadian equestrian Ian Millar holds the overall record with 10 Olympic appearances from 1972 to 2012.

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