Clay Shooting

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

- Anita North won sil­ver and gold in Women’s Trap at the Com­mon­wealth Games in 2002 and 2010. She is now a Bri­tish Shoot­ing GB Tal­ent Pro­gramme coach. Sports · Finland · International Shooting Sport Federation · Facebook · Iceland · Acapulco · Charlotte, North Carolina · Russia · Russian Empire · Australia · Belarus · Italy · Italy National Football Team · China · Germany · Germany national football team · Portugal · Portugal national football team · Turkey · Spain · Spain national football team · United States of America · Argentina · Egypt · Egypt national football team · France · France national football team · Norway · Tokyo · Belgium · Lahti · San Marino · Cao Wei · Robert Delaunay

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.

Quota Places

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.

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