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  • Sixteen Olympic spots on offer as world's best with shotguns unite in Osijek


    Paris 2024 sees one of its biggest qualification event to date as the 2022 World Championships (Shotgun) take place in Osijek, Croatia. The event is hosted at Osijek's Pampas Olympic Shooting range, home of successful Croatian club UPS Pampas.


    Four places are up for grabs in four events, these are the Men's and Women's Skeet and Trap. For the Skeet, if a man and a woman from the same NOC get a spot (or if a country that already has a spot in one gender gets one in the other gender) this will also confirm a place in the mixed team event. Only one athlete per NOC can get a spot in a particular event at this championships; furthermore, athletes which have already gained a spot cannot qualify. The European Championships were held already. The athletes that are ineligible to gain a quota are Jiri Liptak (Czech Republic) and Rickard Levin-Andersson (Sweden) in the Men's Trap, and Lucy Charlotte Hall (Great Britain) in the Women's Trap; over on the skeet side, Jakub Tomecek (Czech Republic) has already got his place in the men's, while Amber Hill (Great Britain) and Nadine Messerschmidt (Germany) have already gained a place for the women.


    Starting on the men's side, with the skeet and American Olympic champion Vincent Hancock, as are fellow medallists Jesper Hansen (Denmark) and Abdullah Alrashidi (Kuwait). In fact, the whole top five in Tokyo are here, with Finland's Eetu Kalloinen and France's Eric Delauney ones to watch. Also present is Great Britain's Ben Llewellin, who came third in the European Championships in Larnaca and will be hoping to recover from that narrow miss. In the 2020 cycle, this was the first event on the calendar: Hancock qualified, as did Norway's Erik Watndal, Italy's Riccardo Filippelli, and France's Emmanuel Petit, all bar Filippelli are present here. Great Britain and Germany can secure a place in the mixed team event with a qualification here, while the Czech Republic's Tomas Nyrdle defends his title.


    In the Men's Trap, and Olympic and European champion Liptak will take all the attention but has already qualified a spot. The presence of Olympic runner-up David Kostelecy means that the Czechs can already complete a maximum of two quotas in this event at Paris at this early stage. Defending champion Matthew John Coward-Holley, who won bronze in Tokyo, is hoping to qualify a place for Great Britain, while Mexican youngster Jorge Orozco Diaz, China's Yu Haicheng and Kuwait's Abdulrahman Al Faihan return meaning that all six finallists in Tokyo will be in Osijek. GB's Nathan Hales and Portugal's Armelim Felipe Rodrigues will also hope to make a splash after making the final in Larnaca. In the 2020 cycle, it was Spain's Alberto Fernandez, Al Faihan, Slovakia's Erik Varga and Australia's James Willett who qualified from this event, all four return.


    Over to the women's side, and starting with the skeet; the US have not brought with them Olympic champion Amber English, and neither runner-up Diana Bacosi of Italy or Chinese bronze medallist Wei Meng, who were top two in the last event in 2019, return this year. Thailand's Isarapa Imprasertsuk and Messerschmidt, who were fourth and fifth in Tokyo, do return. Also her is Danka Bartekova of Slovakia, who won a bronze medal in Larnaca and will hope to qualify for the Games at this opportunity. In this event in the 2020 cycle, two Americans qualified (which is no longer allowed) in Caitlin Connor and Kimberly Rhode, while Bartekova won a place alongside the ROC's Natalia Vinogradova. Bartekova is the only athlete to return; Vinogradova's absence is alongside the entire Russian team. The Czech Republic and Italy can confirm a place in the mixed event with a qualification.


    Finally to the Women's Trap, and Slovakian Olympic champion Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova is joined by American Kayle Browning and San Marino's Alessandra Perilli, who joined her on the podium in Tokyo; Australians Laetisha Scanlan and Penny Smith also return from that final. Another significant name is Fatima Galvez of Spain, who came fourth in Larnaca and will hope to qualify this time. Rehak Stefecekova, China's Wang Xiaojing, Italy's Silvana Stanco and Scanlan were the four to qualify in the 2020 cycle at this event; all but Stanco, who already qualified in Larnaca return.


    The trap events take place from 26-28 September, while the skeet events take place from 7-9 October.


    Patrick Green

    Writer, Totallympics News


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