William Chetcuti made up for last year’s upset in the inaugural Malta Grand Prix after an almost faultless display in the second edition of the Double Trap competition held yesterday at the Malta Shooting Sport Federation ranges in Bidnija.
In June 2010, Chetcuti had failed to make the cut but the story was completely different at the second time of asking as the Malta cham-pion continued to hit solid ground in his build-up to next year’s Olympics by winning the Grand Prix on a score of 192.
The runner-up was decided after a shoot-off involving Hakan Dahlby (Sweden), Davide Gaspa-rini (Italy) and Francesco D’Aniel-lo (Italy). All three had tied on the same tally of 190.
Dahlby won it after the 10th clay to finish second for a second successive time after losing the title last year to Kuwait’s Fehaid Al Deehani, also on a shoot-off.
Despite the added weight a competition at home brings about, Chetcuti was undaunted by the prospect of firing at clays under the eyes of his close companions at Bidnija.
“Extra pressure is the last thing one would want in a competition,” Chetcuti said.
“However, this was kind of a good test for me as you only get better if you succeed in hitting targets in these circumstances.
“Before, I used to wilt under the weight of such events but now the stress is only there until I fire my first shot.
“That’s the way I want to keep things, at least until next year’s Olympics.”
Chetcuti, who obtained a direct quota for London 2012 after winning a World Cup shoot in Beijing in April, reckons his fine results of late are the fruit of sheer hard training and good preparation in the lead-up to key competitions, the likes of the Malta Grand Prix yesterday.
“Winning the Beijing shoot was no chance result and so was this first placing today,” he told The Times.
“Before the Grand Prix we had three or four days of intensive training and in a few sessions some of the foreigners were also in-volved. That helps to acquire more experience as most of the com-petitors in the Grand Prix are world-renowned and champions in their own countries.
“As I said before, participation in events at home brings about extra weight but in the end I was truly satisfied to win the title for the fed-eration and the people at Bidnija.
“They keep pushing you for bigger scores and I think their support helps, particularly when things start to go a little bad for me.”
The other Maltese shooter in competition yesterday, Nathan Lee Xuereb, finished with a score of 135 points. The young hopeful was classified 11th overall.
The sponsors of the Malta Grand Prix were MSV Life, BOV, Blueline, Pintonino and Kunsill Malti għall-iSport. The total prize money at stake was €10,000.
Grand Prix result
1. W. Chetcuti (145+47) 192; 2. H. Dahlby (Sweden, 143+47) 190+10; 3. D. Gasparini (Italy, 141+49) 190; 4. F. D’Aniello (Italy, 141+49) 190+5; 5. S. Almutairi (Kuwait, 141+48) 189; 6. A. Chianese (Italy, 142+46) 188.
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