Aiming for 2012
Egypt will host the 10th African Shooting Championship which might take the country to the London Olympics, reports Ghada Abdel-Kader
Egypt is hosting the second part of the 10th African Shooting Championship which is divided into men, women and junior categories. Shooters will be competing in the 10m air pistol, 10m air rifle, 25m rapid fire pistol, 25m pistol, 50m pistol, and 50m rifles disciplines. The shots will ring out in the Military Shooting Club at the Pyramids from 15-25 October.
Being an Olympic Games qualifying event, nine countries are taking part, all looking for a berth in the most prestigious sporting event in the world. Algeria, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan Tunisia and hosts Egypt are in total being represented by 149 shooters.
The first part of the African Shotgun Championship for men and women in trap, skeet and double trap took place in Rabat, Morocco from 25 May to 3 June. Egypt secured three Olympic quota places out of five to qualify for London. At the same time, the double trap quota went to South Africa, while the trap women's quota spot was awarded to Namibia.
In the men's trap final, Egyptian Ahmed Zaher won a gold medal with a total score 141 targets. In men's skeet, Egyptian Azmi Mehelba shot to gold with a score of 148 targets. In the women's trap final, Egyptian Mona El-Hawari claimed gold with 84 targets. In men's double trap final, South African Alistair Davis won gold, hitting 182 targets, while in the women's trap final, Namibian Diana Ahrens captured gold with a total score of 84 targets.
Quota places are owned to the country whose athletes win the gold medal. This does not mean that the same athlete who won the gold will necessarily compete in the same event in the Olympics. The place is awarded to the county, not the athlete who earned it.
"This is a most important championship since it gives 15 Olympic quotas for London 2012," President of the Egyptian Shooting Federation (ESF) and Vice-President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Medhat Wahdan, said. "We hope to get seven quotas out of 10. It will be a big achievement. It has never happened before in the history of the Olympic Games."
Meanwhile, Egypt will host the ISSF Shotgun World Cup.
The ESF organised nine shotgun World Cups. This year, 76 countries will participate.
The event was to have been held from 1- 13 March at the Shooting Club in 6th October city in Cairo. "Due to the revolution and the ensuing instability in Egypt, the tournament was postponed for one year and replaced with the organising country of the 2013 ISSF Shotgun World Cup," Wahdan said.
The decision was communicated by ISSF Vice-President Olegario Vazquez Raña and Wahdan. The competition was then rescheduled. The United Arab Emirates hosted it at Al-Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club from 30 September to 7 October.