The 2013 ISSF Shogun World Cup season is yet to start, and there’s something new in the air. A new set of rules has been introduced after the 2012 Olympics: finals will look different from now on.
Over 160 athletes coming from 27 countries will meet in Acapulco, Mexico, in two days. On the 15th of March, the ISSF Shotgun World Cup Series kicks off from there. Ten days of competition (15-24 March), to find out who will stand the new rules. Several Olympic Champions are among the participants, including the 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Jessica Rossi (ITA) and Vincent Hancock (USA).
So, what’s changed? The program is the same: Trap, Double Trap, and Skeet are still the Olympic Shotgun events. But Finals are completely new. After the qualification rounds - which are conducted under the old rules – the top-six shooters advance to a semi-final – a new competition stage. The qualification score is not carried forward: all the semi-finalists start from zero.
Semi-finalists compete on a reduced number of stations and targets. After the semi-finals, the top-2 advance to theGold medal match, duelling for the highest step of the podium. On the other side, the third and fourth ranked semi-finalists enter the Bronze medal match, fighting neck and neck for the third step of the podium.
In details, in the Trap event, semi-finalists and medal match contenders will only compete on stations 2, 3 and 4, for a total of 15 targets. The same applies to Double Trap, on 15 doubles (30 targets). Skeet semi-finalists and finalists will compete on stations 3, 4, 5 and then back to 4, shooting a double and a reverse double at each station, for a total of 16 targets.
Sounds easy? Well, it’s not. The new rules set the drama on the final stages. Medal decisions are easier to understand, in favour of spectator and TV audience. But the pressure is on the athletes. When the qualification score goes back to zero, it’s all about stamina. Missing a target in the semi-finals or in a medal match can really make the difference between making it to the medals or not.
Who will stand the pressure and make it to the top? We will find out soon, at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup opening on March the 15th in Acapulco.
Posted by Thom Erik Syrdahl
Source- ISSF Website - http://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=1791