Shooters off to secure Olympic ticket
Namibia’s two top Olympic Trap shooters Gaby Ahrens and Gielie van Wyk will travel to Egypt’s capital Cairo later this year to compete at the African Championships, their last direct chance of qualifying for the Summer Olympics next year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Egypt was only confirmed as host nation this month after the South Africans, who were initially supposed to host the event, withdrew for obscure reasons. The competition dates are set for 31 November and 1 December. This was now confirmed by Ahrens.
The pair, who will be accompanied by Hasso Ahrens as team manager, will have to bring their A game as only the winners of the men’s and women’s divisions books their ticket for the biggest sporting show piece in the world respectively.
Both have showed some outstanding shooting so far. 34-year old Ahrens shattered her personal best at a World Cup during the second competition of the year in Cyprus in Mai, being on target with 66 shots while her PB stood at 64 before.
However, the arguably biggest achievement of any Namibian shooter has come from van Wyk when he broke the Namibian as well as equalling the African record after recording a near perfect score of 123/125 during the national trails in June. After missing two targets in the first round, he didn’t miss again, securing a perfect 100 in the process giving him a total score of 23, 25, 25, 25 and 25.
In terms of competition, Ahrens believes that she will face her toughest test with the women from Morocco as they have had some impressive results over this year’s international season. Van Wyk, on the other hand, must be cautious of the hosts’ shooters.
It is not clear as of yet, if the South Africans will participate. Should they choose to, they will add another big challenge to the competition, Ahrens argued.