Gabriele, the son of 1992 Olympic Bronze medalist Bruno, defeat Marcus Svensson of Sweden by hitting all his targets: 94 clays in a row without missing a single shot, between qualifications, shoot-off, semi-final and gold medal match. IOA’s 52-year old Abdullah Alrashidi claimed Bronze at his sixth participation.
Gabriele Rossetti of Italy added an Olympic gold to the family’s medals showcase, as he won today’s Skeet Men final in Rio de Janeiro, in sight of his father Bruno, a 1992 Olympic bronze medalist in Barcelona.
Gabriele (21) did not leave anything to the chance. After scoring 121 targets out of 125 at the qualifications, he basically shuttered all and every clay thrown ahead of him. First he cleared a shoot-off to access the semi-final with 12 hits out of 12, then he shot a perfect 16 out of 16 to advance to the Gold medal match.
There, he met and beat Sweden’s 26-year old Marcus Svensson, firing another perfect round of 16 hits.
“I was confident I could make it,” Rossetti said. “We are a strong team, Italy won three out of the six Skeet medals up for grabs here in Rio, I feel part of a great family.”
Talking about family, Gabriele’s father Bruno, the 1992 Skeet Olympic Bronze medalist is now the coach of the French team. To get into the final, Gabriele had to shoot-off Anthony Terras, the top-ranked French skeet shooter.
“I am the coach of the French team, but my heart will always be with my son Gabriele,” Bruno said. “He finished the job I had started 24 years ago. I lost Barcelona’s gold by missing my last target, today Gabriele did better than me, he is more competitive than I was.”
“I have been growing up with the French team,” Gabriele added. “Anthony Terras is a friend, almost an older brother to me. I would have loved to shoot the final with him. But anyway somebody has to win, that’s sport.”
Thousands of Brazilian fans crowding the Olympic Shooting Centre of Deodoro cheered up for the Independent Olympic Athlete Abdullah Alrashidi (52), who won the Bronze medal match beating 16 to 14 hits the 2000 Olympic Champion and Ukrainian flag-bearer Mikola Milchev (48).
“Bigode! Bigode!” (mustache in Portuguese) was the cheering that resounded from the first to the last shot of the medal match, referring to the big mustache of the veteran shooter, who finally finished on the podium at his 6th Olympic participation.
“Today I feel like I am Brazilian – said Alrashidi – the support I have received here today is incredible. The crowd lifted me on the podium.”
“I needed this medal. I won medals in all competitions, from national to continental, from world cup to world championship… But I have been chasing this medal for 27 years.”
Asked by media on site why he was wearing an Arsenal shirt under his shooting vest during the final, he answered: “I did not even know it was Arsenal’s. I have no idea of where it comes from, I am not a football fan. Maybe it’s my son’s.”