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Chetcuti third in Almeria

Italian aces top Double Trap shoot

Make Malta Proud... William Chetcuti (right) with Double Trap team-mate Emmanuel Grima.

Make Malta Proud... William Chetcuti (right) with Double Trap team-mate Emmanuel Grima.

Sharp shooter William Chetcuti yesterday added another honour to his growing list of accolades after finishing third in the Double Trap shoot at the Mediterranean Games in Almeria.

Chetcuti, 20, chalked up the second Mediterranean Games medal in shooting for the country after the bronze of Emanuel Abela in 1993.

Other medals won at these Games were through Carol Galea, second in the Bari '97 half marathon, and bowls duo Joe Demanuele and David Farrugia. They were bronze medallists in the same Bari edition.

Yesterday, Chetcuti was involved in a fierce tussle with Italians Marco Innocenti and Daniele Di Spigno, both former world champions.

All three qualified easily for the final barrage with Innocenti recording the best score after the opening three rounds. He hit 139 points, two better off than Di Spigno who was one clay ahead of Chetcuti before the top six took part in the decisive 50-clay shoot-off.

Positions did not alter after the barrage. Innocenti maintained his form to hit 45 from 50 as Di Spigno and Chetcuti both targeted 44. Di Spigno is the world record holder for Double Trap. In a World Championship shoot in 1999, in Finland, he hit an impressive 194 score.

When the squad was announced earlier this month, MOC Director of Sport Pippo Psaila sounded confident of striking success in Almeria after a fruitless venture in Tunisia 2001.

"Chetcuti's future in Double Trap is indeed prosperous," Psaila said.

"We knew he could make it to the podium and deep down we all hoped he could have finished higher. Experience was not on his side though as the Italians are seasoned campaigners on the international scene.

"Winning gold was an outside chance for William but we're extremely satisfied with the result.

"He's still young and has a promising future. This talent should not be wasted. William needs more exposure and the required support from all quarters.

"Despite the tight budget we had to work on, the MOC has shown that its selection process and technical preparation are very efficient. We expect more positive results in Almeria."

Double Trap final: 1. Innocenti (Italy) 184; 2. Di Spigno (Italy) 181; 3. Chetcuti (Malta) 180; 4. Theodotou (Cyprus) 171; 5. Herbert (France) 167; 6. Arroyo (Spain) 164.

Chetcuti is a two-time GSSE Double Trap competition winner, a European junior champion and a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in 2002. On the latter occasion, in Manchester, he finished behind Rajyavardhan Singh, of India, and Australian Mark Russell with 189 clays. Singh won the prestigious title with 191 hits.

The other Maltese shooter in Double Trap yesterday, Emmanuel Grima, failed to scale the same levels of the Andorra GSSE earlier this month and had to settle for 11th place overall. He finished ahead of Morocco duo Bouchaib Marah and Younes Haj Ali. Croatia's Josip Glasnovic was a non-starter.

Grima managed scores of 37, 34 and 38 for a 109 total after the first three rounds. In the GSSE, he finished second behind Chetcuti after qualifying for the barrage with a 121 score.

Two other shooters in Double Trap yesterday were Stephanos Theo-dotou, of Cyprus, and Maurizio Zonzini, of San Marino.

Both challenged Chetcuti for gold in the GSSE earlier this month but with little success. In Andorra, Theodotou beat Zonzini for the third place after a shoot-off.

Galea outside 50m 'fly PB

At the Las Almadrabillas Sports Centre, Angela Galea looked well on her way to regain full fitness but still failed to qualify for the final of the 50m butterfly after swimming the one-lap race in 30.01 seconds. She finished seventh in her heat.

Galea's time was 13th best over the two heats. She finished ahead of Algeria's Sarah Hadj Abderahmane (30.04) and Albania's Tiziana Jakova (33.68). Gulsah Gunenc, of Turkey, did not start. The gold medal winner was Italy's Elena Gemo in 27.55.

Galea's personal best and national record for 50m butterfly is 29.86, established in March 2002.

On Saturday, Galea, 22, took part in the 100m butterfly heats. Her participation in the Almeria Games will come to a close with the 200m qualifiers this morning at 10.

Meanwhile, Andrew Borg, Malta's only scratch golfer, yesterday played in the first round of the men's 72-hole individual tournament at the Campo de la Villa Mediterranea course.

He was in the top 10 in a field of 37 golfers with a score of 78 (+6).

Malta is one of 13 countries competing and one of the few not fielding a team. Unfortunately, only Borg satisfies the minimum qualifying standards required for the Games many consider a launch pad for future champions. Spain, Italy and France in particular have very strong teams in both the men's and ladies' events.

The golf tournament is taking place on a new 400,000 sq.m. course built at a cost of 12,000,000 euros as part of the new tourist complex at El Toyo, just outside Almeria.

Today, Borg continues his round two play.

Making his debut in the 2005 Med. Games today will be 30-year-old wrestler Abraham Vassallo. He takes part in the 84kgs bouts at the Huercal Sports Hall.

Football result

Malta U-21 vs Turkey 0-5

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