DENMARK'S HANSEN BEAT ITALY'S ENNIO FALCO IN THE SKEET MEN GOLD MEDAL MATCH.
Jasper Hansen, of Denmark became the new Skeet Men Wolrd Champion, today, at the 2013 ISSF Shotgun World Championship held in Lima, Peru.
Hansen probably did not expect it. The 32-year old shooter, ranked 12 in the world, had never won a Gold medal in an international competition. But, as he said, today was his day.
Starting from the qualifications, the Danish shooter seemed to be extremely focused. Making it to the semi-final with 123 hits was just the first step of Hansen's road to the world title. Shooting in the semi-final, he cleared 15 targets, finishing in the lead tied to Italy's Falco and Sweden's Jansson. Then, winning a shoot-off, he advanced to the Gold medal match shoulder and shoulder with the Italian.
“End of the Games” this is what Hansen thought then. Falco, the 1996 Olympic Champion competing since the 80s, had already placed in second at four world championship editions. “He won't lose the Gold again!” Hansen thought. “It's no fun to be in a Gold medal match against one of the strongest Skeet shooters of the world, who has been looking for that medal for 20 years!”
Station 5 was the turning point of the gold medal match. The 45-year old Italian missed his first target, giving a one-target advantage to Hansen. “That was the crucial moment when I thought I could really make it, for the first time. I told to myself: I've got him. I zeroed in, and I cleared station 5 and station 4... I finished with a full score of 16 hits and I won the title!”
“This pays off.” Hansen said. “I am not a professional shooter. Back home, I am working everyday from 6 AM to 4 PM, to have some free hours to train in the evening.”
“I have been shooting over 15 thousands shells this year, to get ready for this Championship and to adapt to my new Beretta DT11. It's hard when you're doing all this beside your normal job, and at the same time you get to compete against athletes whose only job is shooting.”
The Danish shooter reached the highest point of his career, today. But this is not the end, it's just the beginning, he said. “I will compete in the ISSF World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, in October... I wanna win more.”
Falco's broken dream
“I am happy to be on the podium again. But my aim was the title.” Italy's Ennio Falco said at the end of the competition, wearing his fifth World Championship Silver medal. After qualifying with 122 hits and 12 shoot-off targets, Falco scored 15 targets in the semi-final and 15 targets in the Gold medal match. Not enough to win that Gold he has been chasing since his first World Championship medal, a Bronze, won in 1994.
The Italian shooter, who started competing in 1983, won everything but a world championship title, in his career. Five World Cup Finals titles, 10 World Cup Stages, 5 European Championships and the 1996 Olympic Games are not enough for this champion, who dedicated his life to the shooting sport. “It hurts a bit. The world championship Gold is the only medal I am missing. I won 5 Silver and 3 Bronzes in this event... Today should have been the day to secure it.”
What's up in next? Thanks to today's Silver, Falco qualified for the 2013 ISSF World Cup Final, to be held in Abu Dhabi in October. There, he will have a chance to win his sixth World Cup Final title: better then anybody else in the history of Skeet shooting.
Bronze goes to Jansson (SWE)
Today's Bronze medal went to Henrik Jansson, from Sweden, who beat the second Italian finalist Giancarlo Tazza at the Bronze medal match, by 15 to 14 hits (both had qualified with 123 hits, Tazza had scored 14 targets in the semi-final, to Jansson 15). Jansson, 26, had won a Silver medal at this year's ISSF World Cup Stage in Nicosia, climbing up the world ranking to the 11th place.
Germany's Sven Korte place fifth, closing the semi-final with 14 hits (qualification: 123 hits) after losing a shoot-off for the Bronze medal match against Tazza. He was followed by Czech Republic's Tomas Nydrle, sixth with 11 hits (qualification: 123 hits).
The reigning Olympic Champion, Vincent Hancock (USA) finished in 10th place with 121 hits, one target far from the medal matches.
Falco's Italy atop of the teams podium
Ennio Falco and his teammates Giancarlo Tazza and Luigi Lodde finished atop of the teams podium, today, with an overall score of 365 hits: an equalled world record. The Czech Republic (Tomas Nydrle, Jan Sychra and Jakub Tomecek) and Norway (Ole Eilif Undseth, Tom Beier Jensen and Tore Brovold) followed in second and third place with 362 hits each.
Up next: Double Trap events
The 2013 ISSF Shotgun World Championship will now continue with the Double Trap events. Tomorrow the Double Trap shooters will have a chance to train, while the competition will take place on Friday the 20th. The medal matches are scheduled to take place at 4.30 PM (Lima time). Follow the Championship at www.issf-sports.org