Chetcuti wins Malta’s first Olympic Quota at Double Trap Final
Malta had never won neither an Olympic Quota nor a World Cup Gold medal. India’s Sodhi secured the second Olympic pass awarded today.
Malta qualified to participate at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, today, as William Chetcuti won an Olympic Quota Place at the 2011 ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Beijing, China.
The 26-year old shooter claimed Gold at the Double Trap Men Final, finishing on the highest step of the podium with a total score of 185 targets.
Entering the final in fourth place with a qualification score of 141 hits out of 150 targets, the Maltese athlete hit 44 clays throughout the final match, pocketing the brightest medal and the Olympic Quota, and becoming the first Maltese athlete ever to qualify for the Games (as he claimed).
“This is the first World Cup Gold medal and the first Olympic Quota ever won by a Maltese athlete in any sport. I feel really proud and happy!” Chetcuti said.
“We always got wild cards to go the Games, in the past. I have been looking for this qualification for years. When I was competing well, there were no quotas to win. And when quotas were there, I missed them by one target or so…”
“I started when I was 10-year old, as my father introduced me to shooting. Finally, after 15 years, my Olympic dream comes true.” The 25-year old concluded.
The Silver medal and the second Olympic Quota Place went to India’s 2010 World Cup Final winner Ronjan Sodhi, who climbed upon the second step of the podium with an overall score of 183 hits (144 hits in the qualifications, and 41 hits in the final).
“It feels great to win an Olympic pass for India.” He said.
“I had been very closed to it in the last two world cups, and this thing was going through my mind. Also during the final, I was thinking about it, and maybe this is why I missed more then usual.” Continued the Indian shooter, who missed nine clays during the 50-target final.
“I don’t know if I will be the one going to the Games, as we have to pass through internal selections to make the Olympic Team. But the important thing is that India is now qualified to participate in the 2012 Games in London.” The 31-year old Punjabi shooter said.
“It has been a difficult match, as you could tell by looking at the scoreboard. The wind played a part in it, and the targets were quite hard to break, today.” Sodhi concluded.
In the hurdles for the Quota, Chetcuti and Sodhi beat the home shooter Li Jun, a 25-year old Chinese athlete who had participate only once in the ISSF World Cup Series, before, back in 2004. Li qualified to participate in the match in sixth and last place with 140 hits, climbing then the scoreboard to the third place to win the Bronze with the total score of 182 targets.
The 2008 World Cup Final winner, Sweden’s Hakan Dahlby, placed in fourth with a total score of 180 (143+37) hits missing the Quota. Russia’s Mosin and Fokeev followed him in fifth and sixth places with a score of 177 and 176 hits respectively.