Olympic hope Chetcuti up against rivals
The Malta Shooting Sport Federation (MSSF) premises were buzzing with activity yesterday as the foreign shooters began to arrive ahead of Sunday’s Malta International Double Trap Grand Prix at the Bidnija ranges.
A total of 21 double trap shooters will take part in the event with Malta stalwart William Chetcuti set to attract much of the attention as he looks to repeat last year’s success.
The home team will also feature Nathan Lee Xuereb and Johann Xuereb. They will be up against some world-class opposition in the form of Italy’s Daniele Di Spigno and Francesco D’Aniello and Sweden’s Hakan Dahlby who are all using the International GP to prepare for the London Games.
The competition gets underway on Sunday at 10.30 a.m. The final barrage is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Chetcuti has just returned from a World Cup shoot in London, where he finished 15th overall, just one place ahead of Nathan Lee Xuereb.
Chetcuti provided a frank assessment of his performance at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
“I’m not happy with my performance as I could have done better,” the 27-year-old told a news conference.
“I was particularly disappointed with the way I approached some targets at crucial stages. Hitting a rather low 44 in the first round put me in a very difficult position and from then on it was hard to recover.
“But now that is over and my focus is to try and perform better at the International Grand Prix this weekend. There will be some world-class shooters who will increase the competition but I’m calm and looking forward to the event.”
The London shoot was a good test for Chetcuti to assess the venue that will host the Olympic Games shoot in August.
“The London ranges are quite different to those I’m used to competing in at international level,” Chetcuti said.
“In terms of facilities for an Olympic shoot, they are of a very high standard. My only concern is that, if it rains, like it did on Monday, visibility is very difficult and you hardly see the targets.”
Saviour Portelli, the MSSF president, said that his federation was excited to be hosting Sunday’s shoot which, for the first time, will be screened live on One TV.
“I would like to thank One Productions for giving us the opportunity to show our sport on TV,” Portelli said.