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Italy’s Rossi and De Filippis sweep the trap at ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Rabat

Italy earned a golden double in the second ISSF World Cup of the season in Rabat as Jessica Rossi and Mauro De Filippis earned the respective women’s and men’s trap titles.

Rossi, 32, the London 2012 champion, offered ideal evidence of early form for Paris 2024 as she finished three shots clear despite missing her last two targets, beating Alessandro Perilli of San Marino 42-39.

But her 43-year-old compatriot, a Tokyo 2020 Olympian, had a more nerve-wracking route to the top step of the podium after an extended duel with his even more experienced 48-year-old rival David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic, the Beijing 2008 champion.

De Filippis led his Czech rival 36-35 going into the two sets of five shots comprising the gold-medal round. And as Kostelecky, shooting first, completed two perfect sequences of five, the Italian matched him shot-for-shot, only offering evidence of the tension within by blowing out his cheeks in relief as the pink powder from his 50th and final effort blew away in the wind.

The Czech athlete had topped qualifying ahead of Australia’s 28-year-old James Willett, with both scoring 121 and his superior bib number kept him ahead at the halfway stage after both had reached the 25-shot mark with only two misses.

A miss by Kostelecky on the next sequence of five enabled the Australian to move into a one-shot lead after 30 shots with a score of 28, with De Filippis level on 27 with the Czech shooter but third by dint of his bib number.

Willett missed the last two of his next sequence, dropping down two places but doing enough to ensure bronze at least as Qatar’s Mohammed Al Rumaihi dropped out of contention in fourth place.

One round later Willett, with one more miss, confirmed bronze, finishing on 35 with Kostelecky but missing out due to his qualification placing.

“I am very happy because this is the start of the Olympic season so a good result is really important for Paris,” De Filippis told ISSF TV.

Recalling how he had moved from third to first place, he added: “I looked over to my coach and caught his eye. We decided on an important technical idea, and we changed the move.”

Reflecting on the pressure of the final ten shots, where he had to follow a perfect sequence set by Kostelecky with his own, he said: “In order to win I thought only of what I do.”

Kostelecky added: “Honestly, I thought Mauro would not miss because I heard the rhythm! So I tried not to miss myself, for the people watching, but he was shooting so strong.

“I enjoyed the final very much. At my age maybe it will be the last one I reach!”

Willett commented: “I’m a little disappointed as I was in the lead at one point but then missed a couple of shots. But I’m still happy with the result.”

Fifth place went to Kuwait’s Talal Alrashidi, with Clement Bourgue of France taking sixth place.

All finalists merited high praise after a qualification which saw huge talents such as Egypt’s World Cup final gold medallist Abdel Aziz Mehelba, Britain’s Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Matthew Coward-Holley, last month’s Cairo World Cup winner Alberto Fernandez and Spain and Croatia’s London 2012 champion and current world champion Giovanni Cernogoraz fail to get through.

Rossi, whose career haul so far also includes three individual world titles, shot so consistently that she was able to claim another gold comfortably despite her lapse at the end.

Perilli, 35, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist and trap mixed team silver medallist, was in fine form herself but could never quite close the gap.

Bronze went to 20-year-old Ryann Phillips of the United States, for whom it was a first World Cup medal.

“I am very happy,” Rossi told ISSF TV. “This is a very important step before the Olympics – a very important step on the road to Paris.

Rossi had offered notice of intent earlier in the Moroccan capital by topping qualifying on 116 hits, with Perilli taking second place on the same total.

After 25 of the total of 50 shots had been taken the Italian led on 21, one clear of Perilli, with Phillips - who won world junior team gold in Changwon last year – third on 19 by virtue of her vest number.

Spain’s 37-year-old 2015 world champion Fatima Galvez, who earned World Cup silver in Cairo last month, was level on scoring but had only secured the sixth and last qualifying place, while Phillips had been fifth.

The classy Italian shooter took fuller control of the final as the contest moved into its second half, registering two perfect sets of five that effectively took her clear of all opposition.

She advanced to the gold-medal round on 34, two ahead of Perilli, with Phillips, who was also on 32, having to settle for bronze on her relative qualifying position.

But while the San Marino shooter missed three of her penultimate set of five targets, Rossi scored with all of them, and while Perilli rallied with her own perfect five to finish off, the Italian’s two concluding misses still left her winner by 42 hits to 39.

Galvez finished fourth, one place ahead of 25-year-old Augusta Campos-Martyn of Puerto Rico, who had finished third in qualifying.

Sixth place went to France’s 33-year-old Tokyo 2020 Olympian Melanie Couzy.

Kazakhstan’s world No.1 Mariya Dmitriyenko, seeking a second consecutive World Cup title, failed to qualify earlier in the day, finishing 26th.

 

 

 

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