Final Trap Men
ISSF World Cup Shotgun · Siggiewi, MLT
Great Britain’s 31-year-old shooter Aaron Heading won the men’s Trap final at the Malta National Shooting Ranges, where the fifth stage of the 2018 ISSF World Cup Series is currently taking place.
Heading, who previously won one World Cup gold in Al Ain (UAE) in 2013, climbed back on top of the podium at the end of a troubled day, as the strong wind conditioned many rounds of the qualification phase and brought to the delay of the final.
Started 90 minutes after the expected time, the match had two clear protagonists since the very beginning: Aaron Heading and People’s Republic of China’s first-time finalist Du Yu. Indeed, with 20 clays left to shoot, the two shooters had already distanced all of their rivals, and they entered the final 10 targets with the same score: 34 hits.
There, Du missed three of his first five clays, allowing Heading to take the lead and claim the gold medal with 42 targets hits out 50. The Chinese 31-year-old, instead, concluded with 38, pocketing silver.
“I feel amazing!” said Heading. “But firstly I want to say thank you to the Maltese Federation for building a great facility, they’ve done an amazing work and everybody here has been fantastic.”
“Obviously the wind was a big issue, but I kept it together and didn’t give up. I just kept to program, kept going and going, I could hear my opponent missing a couple of targets, but I kept my focus on mine and look what happened!” concluded the British athlete.
The gold won by Heading is the second in this competition for Great Britain, as it adds up to the one collected by Amber Hill in the women’s Skeet event.
The podium was then completed by Slovakia’s Marian Kovacocy. The 33-year-old shooter, who won the ISSF World Championship back in 2009 in Maribor (SLO), collected the first World Cup medal of his career, signing off with eight consecutive hits and closing with the score of 30 out of 40 targets.
Just outside of the medal positions, Cyprus’ 26-year-old Andreas Makri — ranked 96th in the world before this match — placed 4th in his first final appearance, hitting 24 of his 35 targets and barely missing the podium. Another first-time final participant — Lebanon’s 34-year-old Alain Moussa concluded with 20 crushed clays out of 30, missing his last three targets and sliding down in 5th place at the time of the elimination.
43-year-old David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic was the first shooter eliminated from the contest: the eight-time World Cup medalist, in fact, missed five of his first ten target, compromising his match and closing in 8th place with 17 hits out of 25.
Medal standings after 4 out of 5 events