Darren Vella had an outstanding start to his bid of striking success in the Malta International Grand Prix after topping the provisional leaderboard at the end of Day One of the Skeet shoot, at the Bidnija ranges, yesterday.
Vella smashed a straight on his way to an impressive score of 73 from a possible 75 but he will be wary of the challenge from United Arab Emirates shooter Saif Bin Futtais and compatriot Clive Farrugia who lie joint second after three rounds of qualifying.
Bin Futtais, winner of a World Cup shoot in Larnaca last year, hit two maximums of 25 yesterday but somewhat faltered in his other round to fall one clay behind Vella on 72, the same as Farrugia.
The other three places in the top six in the Skeet shoot were occupied by locally-based competitors with Ian Grima fourth on 70 clays, Joe Muscat follows on 69 and Bozhidar Dimitrov sixth with 68 hits.
In all, 14 shooters are taking part in the Skeet competition which comes to a close today with another two rounds of qualifying before the finals and medal shoot-offs.
The Malta International Grand Prix, with the participation of various top shooters from the international scene, continues with the Double Trap competition tomorrow and the two-day Trap event between next Saturday and Sunday at Bidnija.
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