William Chetcuti and Nathan Lee Xuereb, Malta’s two representatives at this year’s World Cup finals, just missed out on a place in the Double Trap medal match yesterday as the world’s best shooters gathered at the Gaj Shooting Club ranges in Slovenia for the prestigious ISSF season-ending international shoot.
Chetcuti and Xuereb both had 139 points at the end of the qualifying round.
On count-back, Chetcuti was classified eighth overall and Xuereb ninth.
After three rounds of 50 clays each, the Maltese pair were just one point short of a place in a shoot-off for the sixth and final slot in the barrage, a place that was contested by Italian Francesco D’Aniello and Hakan Dahlby, of Sweden, who both gained 140 points in qualifying.
Dahlby kept his cool in the shoot-off to book his place in the final after D’Aniello missed on his fourth clay in the decider.
For the 15-year-old Xuereb, this was his first showing at an ISSF final and the experience in Maribor should stand him in good stead for future competitions at this level.
However, Chetcuti was looking to finish the season on a better note.
After an encouraging start to the year, winning a silver medal at the Tucson World Cup shoot in March, Chetcuti failed to reach the barrage at the Royal Artillery Barracks in a pre-Olympic ISSF event in April before settling for a modest ninth placing in the London Games in August.
In all, 57 shooters from 28 countries were registered for the five Olympic shotgun events in Maribor. These include the top contenders throughout this year’s ISSF World Cup series, the defending champions and the Olympic medallists.
On Sunday, Oguzhan Tuzun, of Turkey, won the men’s Trap gold medal after a shoot-off with Russia’s 2004 Olympic champion Alexey Alipov.
Double Trap result
1. J. Richmond (US) 145+47 192; 2. R. Sodhi (India) 144+47 191; 3. F. Aldeehani (Kuwait) 143+47 190; 4. V. Mosin (Russia) 141+46 187; 5. H. Dahlby 140+46 186; 6. M. Leybo (Russia) 141+40 181; 7. F. D’Aniello (Italy) 140; 8. W. Chetcuti (Malta) 139; 9. N.L. Xuereb (Malta) 139; 10. D. Di Spigno (Italy) 135; 11. V. Fokeev (Russia) 131.
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