ISSF World Cup Shotgun · Acapulco, MEX
The second ISSF competition of the 2017 season closed today at the Club de Caza, tiro y Pesca de Acapulco, where the Skeet Men event awarded its medals to Italy, United States and Australia.
In his second overall participation in an ISSF World Cup stage, Italian shooter Marco Sablone (28) clinched the Gold medal with an outstanding performance, pulverizing the 80th place he nailed in his only previous participation, which dates back to Beijing (CHN) in 2011.
It is Italy’s second consecutive World Cup Gold in this event, after Riccardo Filippelli climbed atop the podium at the first stage of the season in New Delhi (IND).
Sablone led the match since the early stages, as he missed only one of his first 33 targets and built a comfortable gab on his closest opponent: United States’ 29-year-old Frank Thompson. Sablone kept shooting consistently all along the match, maintaining Thompson at a safe distance while the other shooters were battling to avoid elimination.
On the last station, unfortunately, the Italian athlete missed the chance to equal the World Record set by his teammate Filippelli in India, missing the last 2 clays of his final and concluding with 55 target hits.
“Even if it’s been a long time since my last international competition, I didn’t came here just to participate,” said Sablone. “I came here to win, and now it feels great! I trained really hard in the last times and I was pretty confident about myself.”
“It’s not up to me if I’ll represent Italy also at the Shotgun World Championship in Moscow, I just have to think about crushing the targets,” he continued. “But to have the chance to train and compete against top-level shooters like Gabriele Rossetti or Riccardo Filippelli is already a great encouragement. We’re definitely one of the best teams in the world.”
USA’s Thompson finished the match with 53 hits and the Silver medal around his neck, besting his previous best placement in a World Cup: 5th in three different stages between 2008 and 2014. The men’s Skeet Bronze secured in Acapulco is Thompson’s first career World Cup medal and it seals the top of the medal ranking for the United States of America.
The Bronze medal was delivered to Australia’s 24-year-old Paul Adams, who crushed 43 clays and placed 3rd for the second consecutive time, after pocketing the Bronze at the first stage of the 2017 ISSF World Cup Series in New Delhi.
Germany’s 22-year-old Felix Haase, placed just outside of the podium, crushing 33 targets and missing the medal in his first final participation in an ISSF World Cup.
Competing for the first time on the international shooting sport scene, Wan Antao (32) of the People’s Republic of China finished in 5th place with 25 hits out of 30 targets. Previously, he emerged form a six-way shoot-off to grab the only spot remaining in the final.
The Mexican 21-year-old Carlos Segovia Gonzalez from Monterrey was the first to leave the match after 20 targets. After qualifying with the second highest score, Segovia Gonzalez singed his first World Cup participation with a 6th place and 15 target hits.
The 2017 ISSF World Cup Series will now resume next month with the ISSF World Cup Stage 3, scheduled in Larnaka (CYP) from April 28th to May 8th.