Al-Ahram Weekly Online   14 - 20 May 2009
Issue No. 947
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Egypt misses

We were close but not on target as the shotgun World Cup ended in Cairo, Ghada Abdel-Kader reports

Click to view caption
Ukrainian Milchev takes aim

Italy won the overall medal standings with one gold and two silver medals for a total of three medals out of five events. The US came second with a gold and two bronze. Ukraine, San Marino and Slovakia came in third place by securing one gold medal each. In sixth place were Spain, Qatar and Thailand with one silver while in ninth place came Finland, Hungary and Kuwait with one bronze medal.

The event took place at the Shooting Club in 6 October City, considered one of the best shooting clubs in the world.

President of the Egyptian Shooting Federation (ESF) and Vice-President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Medhat Wahdan said the tournament was of a very high level as was the performance of the shooters and the results. "This is the first World Cup this year after the Olympics in Beijing.

"We were close but unfortunately we didn't reach the finals. The women's team couldn't make it either because it was the first time for them. They are still in the preparation stage," added Wahdan.

"The comments on the tournament by ISSF technical delegate Petros Kyritis were extremely positive. It is the third time for Kyritis to see a championship organised by Egypt," said Abdel-Hamid Ghaleb, executive director of the ESF.

In the women's trap final, Daniela Del Din from San Marino won gold with a remarkable final of 19 hits for a total score of 89 targets. Del Din had won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Nicosia in 2007.

Italian shooter Jessica Rossi claimed the silver medal with 16 hits in the final and a total score 86 hits. Bronze was taken by US shooter Rachael Lynn Heiden.

It was the first participation of Heiden on the international level.

Spanish shooter Fatima Galvez came fourth. The USA's Joetta Dement came in the fifth place after losing a 2 to 3 shoot off to Galvez (67+13=80+3). Charlotte Kerwood of Great Britain came in sixth place with a total score of 77 targets.

In the women's skeet final, the Slovakian Danka Bartekova won first place with an excellent score of 97 hits, by shooting-off Thailand's Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit 2 to 1. Bartekova entered the final with a qualification score of 73 hits, and finished the final match with 25 hits. Jiewchaloemmit secured second place. Jiewchaloemmit had qualified through an outstanding qualification series in which she equalled the current world record of 74 hits (set at the 2005 ISSF World Cup in Belgrade by Elena Little, GBR, and equaled seven times since then). American Connie Smotek came in third place with a total score of 95 hits (70+25).

Beijing's Olympic champion and currently number one in the world Chiara Cainero of Italy came in fourth place by shooting-off fifth place Andri El-Eftherou of Cyprus 6 to 5 targets. Caitlin Connor of the US came in sixth place with a total of 90 hits (70+20).

In the men's trap final, the USA's Ryan Hadden won gold with a total score of 139 hits. Spaniard Jesus Serrano claimed silver with a score of 139 hits and bronze went to Kuwait's Khaled Al-Mudhaf with 137 hits.

Beijing's Olympic champion David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic came in fourth place with a score of 134 hits. Kuwait's Naser Meqlad placed fifth with 134 hits and Sergio Pinero of the Dominican Republic finished in sixth place with 133 hits.

In the men's double trap final, Italian Francesco D'Aniello shot gold with a total score of 185 targets (140+45 hits in the final match). Qatar's Rashid Al-Athba won the silver medal with 183 hits and Roland Gerebics of Hungary won bronze with 182 hits. Sweden's Hakan Dahlby came in fourth place with 180 hits and the UAE's Saif Al-Shamsi finished in fifth (138+42 +3 in the shoot-off). Beijing's Olympic finalist Jeffrey Holguin of the US finished sixth with 177 hits.

In men's skeet final the 2000 Sydney Olympic champion Mikola Milchev from Ukraine won gold with a total of 148 hits out of 150 targets. The 1996 Olympic champion Ennio Falco claimed silver with 147 hits. The 2004 Olympic silver medallist, Marko Kemppainen of Finland, took bronze with 146 hits. Ivan Loik of Ukraine finished in fourth with 145 hits (122+23). Antonakis Andreou finished in fifth with a total score of 143 targets after shooting-off 6 to 5 the Greek shooter Efthimos Mitas, who finished in sixth.

Egypt's shooters achieved what is called a minimum qualification score (MQS). Franco Donato came in seventh place by scoring 121 out of 125 targets and Azmi Mehelba came in 11th place with total score 117 points.

An athlete must shoot an MQS for the respective event at one of the ISSF supervised championships during the four years between Olympic Games. Only athletes that have shot a MQS can be entered in one or more events in the Olympic shooting programme.

Athletes who win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup or post a top finish at the World Championships or Continental Championships in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania in the first three years before the Olympic year guarantees a quota place that someone from a given country but not necessarily the athlete who earned it, will be competing in that Olympic event.

Ghaleb explained: "The participation in shooting events at Olympics London 2012 is not opened yet. The final was very strong till the last target."

In men's skeet, Ukrainian athlete Mikola Milchev equaled the world record of 125 hits out of 125 targets. Egyptian shooter Franco Donato could have entered the final if he had hit just one more target, added Ghaleb.

The ESF's upcoming agenda is full. Egypt will participate in the ISSF World Cup in rifle, pistol and shotgun events in Munich from 12- 21 May; the ISSF World Cup shotgun in San Marino from 15-24 June; the XVI Mediterranean Games in Pescara, Italy from 5 June to 26 July; and the ISSF World Cup shotgun in Maribor, Slovenia from 6-17 August.

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