The 49-year old Olympic multi-medalist rely on his long experience to overcome difficult weather conditions at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro, to claim the best result of his 30-year long career.
Fehaid Aldeehani won today’s Double Trap Men final, securing the first Olympic gold medal for the Independent Olympic Athletes team in Rio, on a windy and rainy day in Deodoro.
The 49-year old shooter beat Italy’s Marco Innocenti by 26 to 24 hits in the Gold medal match, after closing the semi-final in the lead with 28 hits out of 30 targets.
Great Britain Steven Scott (31) claimed Bronze, beating his teammate Tim Kneal (33) with a perfect score of 30 out of 30 hits to Kneal’s 28.
Scott and Kneal had won a three-way shoot-off at the end of the semifinal to advance to the medal match, beating Australia’s James Willett who was left in 5th place with 26 hits. Germany’s Andreas Loew took the 6th place with 25 hits.
Aldeehani had already won two Olympic bronze medals, in Double Trap in 2000 and in Trap in 2012, and participated in sixth Olympics since Barcelona 1992.
“To finally win this gold medal means a lot to me, it’s very special,” said Aldeehani.
“It has been a very tough day, but I was able to come through.”
“My achievement is for myself. The message is that it’s never too late! I feel young, and I am in shape. In Shooting sport you need experience. Experience and self-confidence overcome age,” concluded the 49-year old athlete.
Innocenti, 37, had been chasing an Olympic medal since Sydney 2000, when he placed in 8th. In his second participation, in Athens 2004, he ended up in 17th, and later on he did not qualify for Beijing and London.
“I knew that this is probably my last Olympic participation. Therefore, there was a lot of pressure, and once I found out I was guaranteed a medal at the end of the semifinal, I release and started to cry. Finally, I made it to the podium, I have been chasing this result for 20 years,” said Innocenti.
“This year I struggled to find my best conditions, I went through a lot of ups and downs. Luckily, one months ago I won Silver at the Baku’s ISSF World Cup and I regained my confidence in the lead up to Rio.”
“This range is very difficult, and the today’s conditions were super challenging. Wind and rain affected the targets, so I also had to rely on my experience to work it out.”
RESULTS - Double Trap Men
1. ALDEEHANI Fehaid
2. INNOCENTI Marco
3. SCOTT Steven