Double Trap shooter Nathan Lee Xuereb won the gold medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup held in Suhl, Germany, yesterday.
This was another remarkable result for the talented Xuereb who is looking to gain qualification for this summer’s Rio Olympics.
Xuereb produced a very solid shoot in the opening five qualifying rounds, hitting scores of 28, 26, 27, 27, 28 to finish tied in second place with Russia’s Viacheslav Yukhimenko on 136 points.
Italy’s Andrea Galesso topped the leaderboard with 142.
In the semi-final round, Xuereb smashed 24 from 30 targets to finish joint-second with Galesso, thus forcing a shoot-off to decide who was to face James Dedman in the gold medal shoot after the Briton finished on top with 25.
In the shoot-off, Xuereb held his nerves to beat the Italian six clays to five and proceed to the final.
Xuereb was almost flawless in the final, hitting 29 from 30 clays to seal the gold medal as Dedman could only manage 24. Yukhimenko took the bronze as he beat Galesso 25-24 in the shoot-off.
Gianluca Chetcuti was the other Maltese shooter in action in Suhl yesterday. He was classified 19th from 23 starters with 122 points.
Xuereb and Chetcuti will now shift focus to their preparations for the Malta International Grand Prix which will be held at the Bidnija Ranges next week.
The Grand Prix will include the participation of some of the best shooters in circulation, including Italian trap duo Giovanni Pellielo and Jessica Rossi, Olympic medal winners in recent years.
A total of 44 shooters will compete in the international shoot which gets under way on May 10 with the first day dedicated to the skeet competition.
The double trap shoot will be held on May 12 while the two-day trap is pencilled for May 14-15.
Final standings in Suhl
1. N.L. Xuereb 136 – 24+6 – 29; 2. J. Dedman 135 – 25 – 24; 3. V. Yukhimenko 136 – 23 – 25; 4. A. Galesso 142 – 24+5 – 24; 5. D. McMath 134 – 22; 6. T. Deyo 133 – 21.
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