Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova won the Trap gold in emphatic fashion in a shoot-out against Russian veteran Liudmila Pshenichnikova at the Qatar Open Shotgun Championship at the Lusail Shooting Range yesterday.
Young and upcoming shooter from Russia, IuliiaTugolukova, took bronze.
Two-time Olympic Silver medallist (2008 and 2012) medallist Stefecekova was delighted by her title win in Qatar.
“I am happy to start the season with a win. This is like second home for me, as we always start the season here and I love the range here,” said the gold medal winner, who is here with her son and husband.
“Every year we come to Qatar to take part in the pre-season training at the Lusail Shooting Range, as it is winter back home in Slovakia. We enjoy training here and it prepares us for the season ahead,” the Slovakian shooter, who had won the ISSF World Cup in 2013, said.
She said she had no problem with the weather yesterday.
“It was not that windy today, it was a warmer day, so I had no problems. But on the first two days (Monday, Tuesday) the rain and the windy conditions made it difficult,” said Stefecekova, who will not be going to India for the ISSF World Cup later this month. Instead, after returning to Slovakia, her next event will be in April.
Stefecekova had a perfect start in the qualifiers and topped the score sheets and continued in the same vein in the final round.
In the final round, in which six qualified, Stefecekova and Pshenichnikova finished on top, forcing a shoot-out for the top position leaving Tugolukova and New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney to train their guns on the bronze medal.
Tugolukova hit the bull’s eye finishing with a combined score of 30 while Rooney had 25 against her name to take bronze.
Pshenichnikova was happy with silver, having won her first medal in four years.
The 44-year-old had last won a medal — a gold — in Trap at the 2013 ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico.
Yesterday’s women’s Trap field saw participation of 31 shooters, including five from Qatar.
Today, the men’s Trap final will be held 3pm onwards. The men’s Double Trap final is scheduled for Saturday, while women’s Skeet final will take place on February 20, followed by the men’s Skeet final the next day.
The eight-day event, which will competition across three disciplines, including Trap, Double Trap and Skeet for senior and junior, men and women, carries a total prize money of $132,600.
Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova (centre) won women’s Trap gold ahead of Russia’s Liudmila Pshenichnikova (left) and IuliiaTugolukova (right) at the Lusail Shooting Range yesterday. PICTURES: Nasar TK