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Vella outscores Bin Futtais in tight finale at Bidnija

Skeet champion Darren Vella. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Skeet champion Darren Vella. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Darren Vella claimed the 2016 Malta International Grand Prix Skeet title yesterday.

After holding on to top position in the leaderboard, Vella staved off the challenge of United Arab Emirates shooter Saif Bin Futtais in the final to secure the highest place on the podium at the Bidnija ranges.

The last two rounds of qualifying in the morning session saw Vella progress to the finals with the best score among all the top contenders.

He finished with a remarkable 121 hits from a maximum of 125, two points ahead of Bin Futtais.

Clive Farrugia also made it through to the top six with the same total as Bin Futtais (119) with the other finalists being Bozhidar Dimitrov (117), Joseph Muscat (115) and Ian Grima (112).

Vella, Bin Futtais and Farrugia all managed to smash 15 clays from 16 in the semi-finals. Thus, a shoot-off was required to determine the two finalists with Farrugia bowing out after a tense round.

Tension was high in the final as Bin Futtais missed three shots. Vella failed to hit two targets but his effort was enough for him to win the decider 14-13.

Farrugia made up for the setback of missing out on the gold medal shoot by beating Dimitrov 14-12 for third place.

Muscat (13) and Grima (12) failed to qualify for the medal matches.

The Malta International Grand Prix continues today with the start of the Double Trap competition at Bidnija. The qualifying rounds will be held in the morning with the final scheduled to start at around 2pm.

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