The Malta Independent 23 June 2018, Saturday

ISSF World Cup Shotgun Malta 2018: Amber Hill wins gold in Skeet

Friday, 8 June 2018, 21:30 Last update: about 11 days ago

Great Britain's 20-year-old Amber Hill ruled the Skeet Women final in Siggiewi (MLT) - the match that opened the ISSF World Cup Stage 5 at the Malta National Shooting Ranges - climbing atop the podium at the end of a final who was characterized by the strong wind.

"It's been windy all day," she said right after the medal ceremony. "So the conditions haven't been perfect, but I guess that's what made it really interesting. There was a lot of ups and downs, and some targets were really difficult."

Hill, who was three hits behind United States' Amber English after the first 20 targets, only missed two clays in the following 20, definitely overtaking her rival and extending the gap in the conclusive third of the match, where she crushing 19 of her final 20 clays. The British talented shooter then concluded with 52 hits out of 60 targets, pocketing the second World Cup gold of her career after the one she won in Acapulco (MEX) in 2013, when she was only 15 years old.

Moreover, with this gold medal, Hill completes a sweep that saw her took bronze and silver at this year's two previous World Cup stages in Guadalajara (MEX) and Changwon (KOR).

"I'm so happy to be coming away finally with another gold medal," said the British shooter. "It's kind of been building with my bronze, and then my silver, and now I'm just absolutely over the moon... I have no words to put, it's just incredible!"

Concluding her match with 48 targets hits, 28-year-old Amber English placed 2nd and won silver, adding it to the bronze she also took some weeks ago in Changwon.

The podium was completed by People's Republic of China's Zhang Donglian (35) - a two-time World Cup gold medalist in 2011 and 2013 - who secured the bronze medal by crushing 40 of her 50 targets, also preceding Italy's reigning Olympic Champion Diana Bacosi (34), who finished in 4th position with 30 hits out of 40.

Bacosi was followed by the second finalist representing the United States: five-time World Cup medalist Caitlin Connor. The 27-year-old, who won silver at the ISSF World Cup Stage 1 in Guadalajara last March, placed 5th with the score of 21 out of 30.

First-time finalist Veronika Sykorova (23) of Slovakia was the first shooter to be eliminated from the match, taking 6th place with 14 hits out of 20 clays, the same score as Connor, who eventually survived the elimination because of a better bib number.

The ISSF World Cup Stage 5 in Siggiewi (MLT) will continue tomorrow with the Skeet Men final, scheduled at 6:30 pm (UTC+2:00).

After the first two qualification rounds, Anton Astakhov of the Russian Federation is atop the provisional table with 50 hits, followed by Vincent Hancock of the United States of America and Yaroslav Startsev, also of the Russian Federation, respectively with 49 and 48 hits.

The match will be streamed live on the ISSF website, on the Federation's Livestream channel and on its official Facebook page.

 

Shotgun cartridges shells eject from the shotgun of Russian skeet shooter Anton Astakhof, currently ranked number 1, during the ISSF World Cup Shotgun Championship taking place in Malta from the 5th to the 15th of June, 2018. Photo © Domenic Aquilina 

Meanwhile in the Men Skeet event day one the Maltese shooters shot two rounds of 25 each where Darren Vella managed 21,22 43/50. Bozidar Dimitrov managed 17 and 24 for 41/50. Marlon Attard managed 17 and 20 for 37/50. Jason Sciberras managed 20 and 16 for 36/50. Marcello Attard managed 17,13 for 30/50.
The Skeet Mens event continues on Saturday morning where each shooter has 3 rounds of 25 clays each. The top six shooters will qualify for the final stages that will start around 6.00pm.

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