Peter Wilson hits gold

Peter Wilson is congratulated by coach Ahmed Al Maktoum

With 592 shooters from 77 countries, British shooters Peter Wilson and Aaron Heading brought medals home to leave team GB second in the medal standings behind China

The final ISSF shotgun world cup for 2011 saw the largest ever attendance for the world’s shotgun shooters’ final chance to win an Olympic quota place before the World Championships in Belgrade in September.

Dorset’s own Peter Wilson beat China’s Hu Binyuan and India’s Sodhi to win the brightest medal in the Double Trap with 195 hits.

With one year to go until the 2012 London Games, we can surely count on our new shooting star: the 24-year-old shooter won the event pocketing his second international medal of the season.

Aaron Heading fought his way to his first ISSF bronze medal

The young athlete – who won an Olympic quota place by placing second at the ISSF world cup in Concepcion, Chile at the beginning of the season – had never won an ISSF gold medal before.

Entering the match with the highest qualification score – 146ex-150 – Wilson clung to the lead dropping a single target in the final to leave left Beijing’s Olympic bronze medallist Hu Binyuan and India’s sharpshooter Ronjan Sodhi in second and third place respectively.

“It feels great!” said the British shooter, wearing the gold medal after shooting a total score of 195. “Last time I was here was 2006 when I won the European Junior championship. I really like this range; it is a great place to shoot.”

Wilson’s coach, 2004 Olympic champion Ahmed Al Maktoum of the UAE, said: “he has great potential. I started coaching him a year ago, after I saw him shooting. He’s my best student and he’s learning fast. Two world cup medals in one season is a great result.” Al Maktoum placed eighth with 143 hits, just one target away from a final place.
British shooter Steve Scott finished on 137 and Matt French shot 135.

In the men’s Trap event, Aaron Heading shot up from the lowest final qualification score to third place securing his first ever ISSF medal. Aaron fought for his final place in a shoot-off against Mario Filipovic from Slovakia. Spain’s Jesus Serrano won the gold after a duel with two-time Olympic champion Michael Diamond.

Serrano entered the medal match in the lead, with a qualification score of 124, leading throughout the first part of the match; he lost his advantage by missing three out of the last seven targets. Unfortunately for Aaron, both Jesus and Michael were yet to secure quota places so he missed out this time but carding a bronze medal winning score of 144ex-150 puts him well-placed for the World Championships in September.

Ed Ling was just two targets shy of a final qualification score on 120 and Carl Exton shot 118.

The USA’s Rachael Lynn Heiden won the women’s Trap final, as she climbed into the lead with a two-target advantage over Slovakia’s Stefeckova. The coveted Olympic quota places went to Germany’s Quooss and to France’s Racinet.

GB shooter Shona Marshall shot 68, meanwhile Abbey Burton and Charlotte Kerwood both shot 64.

The men’s Skeet final was won by Andres Golding – the 27-year-old from Pandrup, Denmark is ranked eighth in the world. He made it into the final round with a qualification score of 124ex-125, tied with Beijing’s Olympic silver medallist Tore Brovold of Norway and to the 2007 World Champion Georgios Achielleos of Cyprus.

Shooting a perfect final of 25ex-25, giving him a total of 149, Golding met Cyprus’ Achilleos in the shoot-off for gold; the Danish shooter pocketed the gold, beating his opponent two to one.

Golding’s win secured him an Olympic quota place – a qualification spot for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Achilleos took second place whilst third place went to Greek shooter Efthimios Mitas with 146. British shooter Rory Warlow finished a single target short of a final place on 121; Clive Bramley hit 117 and Michael Gilligan shot 111 targets.

Competing in a thunderstorm, China’s 28-year old shooter Zhang Donglian won the women’s Skeet event, pocketing the gold medal after a breathtaking shoot-off against Cyprus’ Andreou. The Chinese finalist, who made it to the medal match with 72 qualification hits, maintained her lead despite missing three targets in the final. Contending with the worst possible conditions – strong winds, a cold rain dropping and hail falling through lightening – Zhang finished with a total score of 94.

A shoot-off was called to separate the top two shooters: Zhang met and beat Cyprus’ Panayota Andreou by four hits to three to take the gold medal.

Our home-grown talent saw Elena Allen shoot 68, Pinky Le Grelle shot 64 and Sian Bruce hit 56.

The 2011 ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia, was the last world cup of the year; the ISSF Shotgun World Cup Final will take place in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, on 30 September.

The Chinese team placed atop the medal table with three medals, one of each colour.

Great Britain followed in second with Peter Wilson’s gold and Aaron Heading’s bronze. Denmark, Spain and USA came in third place with one gold medal each.

The best shotgun shooters of the world will next meet at the ISSF shotgun world championship, in Belgrade (Serbia) from the 3 September, before travelling to the ISSF shotgun world cup final.

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