Tough at The Top
Team GB’S shooters put in a strong performance at a challenging World Cup in Finland, but medals eluded them, reports Anita North
The last World Cup this year took place in Lahti, Finland, in August. It was interesting to watch events unfold on my phone and ipad – results are live on the ISSF website and finals are streamed live on their Facebook page. There is more technology being used too, but more on that another time.
This World Cup was a tough one, and was not as high-scoring as other World Cups this year, like the first in Acapulco which saw world record performances. The weather was mixed, with bouts of wind and rain, and results reflected the tough conditions. Final scores in Lahti were up to seven targets less than in other World Cups this year. Only in the Men’s Olympic Skeet were high scores still required. British shooters came close, but none of them made the finals. The highest placed British shooters in their individual events were Sarah Wixey (12th), Ed Ling (15th), Amber Hill (8th) and Ben Llewellin (9th). In the Trap Mixed Team event, the British teams of Charlotte Hollands/nathan Hales and Abbey Ling/aaron Heading placed 18th and 24th respectively in a field of 44 teams.
Women’s Olympic Trap
After two days of qualification, Daria Semianova from Russia and Laetisha Scanlan from Australia led the field with 112. They were joined in the final by Penny Smith from Australia, Fiammetta Rossi from Italy and Xiaojing Wang from China. A score of 110 saw three competitors in a shoot off for the sixth place in the final, which was won by 2008 Olympic Champion Satu Makela-nummela. A fiercely contested final saw the quietly determined Penny Smith maintain a level of cool-headedness to take the win.
Men’s Olympic Trap
Andreas Loew from Germany led the field with a score of 119; the other finalists were Joao Azevedo from Portugal, Yavuz Ilnam from Turkey, Giovanni Pellielo and Mauro De Filippis from Italy and Alexey Alipov from Russia. There was some drama with much use of the VAR, and at the end it took a sudden-death shoot-off for Alexey to secure victory from Joao.
Trap Mixed Team
This event saw 44 teams competing. While the gold medal match participants were clear, it took a four-way shoot-off to decide the bronze medal match finalists, with Australia and Spain missing out, leaving Italy and Turkey to compete for bronze. In the end it was the San Marino team who took the gold medal.
Women’s Olympic Skeet
Caitlin Connor topped the scoreboard at the end of qualification, with 118. She was joined in the final by fellow USA shooter Amber English, as well as Chiara Di Marziantonio and Martina Bartolome from Italy, and Meng Wei from China. Nele Wissmer from Germany had to win a shoot off against Melisa Gil from Argentina to secure the sixth place in the final. After a solid performance in the final, it was Meng Wei of China who came away with the win.
Men’s Olympic Skeet
Two-times European Champion from Italy, Luigi Lodde, led the field at the end of qualification with a score of 125. He was joined in the final by Azmy Mehelba from Egypt, Eric Delaunay from France, Eetu Kallioinen and Oskari Kossi from Finland and Jonas Filtvedt of Norway. The end of the final saw Luigi and Eric tied on 55, meaning a shoot-off for gold, won by Luigi.
There were two quota places for grabs in each of the individual events with no quotas in the Mixed Team event. The race to Tokyo continues to be tight, and in three out of four events it took a podium finish to secure a quota place. Across the events contested, the quota places went to Australia, Finland, Russia, Portugal, China, Germany, France and Egypt.