Finals Skeet Women
ISSF World Championship Shotgun · Lonato, ITA
USA's Morgan Craft (22) became the new Skeet Women world champion, today, at the 2015 ISSF Shotgun World Championship in Lonato, Italy.
The American shooter defeated her teammate Caitlin Connor (24) in the Gold medal match by 15 to 13 hits, finishing atop of the world championship podium for the first time in her career.
The duel between the two teammates involved more than just the world title. In a competition within the competition, Craft gained a spot in the Rio 2016 US Olympic team by finishing ahead of Connor. The second member of the US Olympic women's Skeet team will be selected at the USA Shooting Fall and Spring Selection Matches (2 October 2015, 2 May 2016).
The two American shooters had qualified for the final phases of the competition with 73 hits, and then tied again atop of the semi-final leaderboard with 15 hits each. But before advancing to the Gold medal match, they had to beat China's Wei Ning in a shoot-off (Wei had also scored 15 targets in the semi-final).
“Eight years ago I never thought I would be at this spot. This is what I worked for, what I believed I can do, for the last couple of years. I’m exactly where I want to be now, I just achieved my lifetime goal!” Craft said. She had won silver at the last world cup stage of the year in Gabala, last August, climbing the world raking up to the second place, and today's victory will certainly place her atop of the ranking.
“It definitely wasn’t easy, today. We had some crazy wind and torrential downpours this afternoon, but I did my best and got through it just fine. I was extremely happy with my results.”
“I love Caitlin and I’m so happy that we got Gold and Silver. I couldn’t be happier to share the podium with my teammate.” she added.
“I’m a little disappointed just because we were also shooting for a spot at the Olympics, but I think my shooting was really good.” Said silver medallist Connor. “I shot really well today and it’s a plus going into the next year.
The two-time Olympic Silver medallist Wei Ning of the People's Republic's of China (33), ended up on the third step of the podium, as she beat Thailand's Sutia Jiewchaloemmit (29) in the Bronze medal match.
Beijing 2008's Olympic Bronze medallist Christine Wenzel of Germany was the first to miss during the semi-final, on station four. The 34-year old German athlete had won the last four ISSF separate shotgun world championships, the last one being Lima 2013. With 11 hits in the semi-final, she placed in sixth today, behind London 2012's bronze medallist Danka Bartekova of Slovakia (30), who took fifth place with 12 hits.
The two Rio 2016 Olympic quota places to be awarded today went to Libuse Jahodova of the Czech Republic (8th with 71+5 hits) and to Cyprus' Andri Eleftheriou (10th with 71+1 hits).
The United States of America collected another medal by finishing atop of the teams' podium with an equalled world record of 215 clays scored by Craft, Connor and their teammate Kimberly Rhode. Italy (Katiuscia Spada, Diana Bacosi, Chiara Cainero) followed in second place with 212 hits, while bronze went to the People's Republic of China with 209 hits (Wei Ning, Wei Meng, Piao Piao Lin).
The ISSF Shotgun World Championship in Lonato (ITA), where 800 athletes from 92 countries are competing in the five Olympic shotgun shooting events from the 10th through the 18th of September, will continue this afternoon with the women's junior Skeet final, at 18.30 (GMT+2).
The men's Double Trap and the men's junior Double Trap finals will be staged tomorrow afternoon, September 14th, at 16.30 and 17.30 (GMT+2) respectively. All finals will be broadcasted live on www.issf-sports.org and on the Eurovision network.