First Olympic Trap trials conducted
Hyundai Namibia brand-ambassador Gaby Ahrens had a promising start to the new clay shooting season at an event held last weekend.
With her sights set on the Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, the 34-year old finished the first Olympic Trap trials of the season with the minimum qualifying score (MQS) in her first three rounds and a 111/125 over five, which was the highest score of that day.
“I had been struggling with health issues before the shoot so I’m really happy with the result”, the current African champion said.
The day, however, belonged to 15-year old Oliver Hoffmann. After gaining first international experience last year, including his first African Championships, he stepped up to the plate on Saturday to clinch the overall win.
Hoffmann had already underlined his talent during the qualification round, after shooting a fine score of 107/125. Johan Venter, Ian Kriel, Johan Slabbert, Hasso Ahrens and Gaby Ahrens completed the semi-final line-up.
Venter was the stand-out performer as he hit a near perfect 14/15 to book his place in the final.
The second finalist was determined between Hoffmann and Kriel. Both hit 12 of a possible of 15 targets, forcing a sudden-death shoot-out. Hoffmann, despite his young age, kept cool to beat his opponent with one clay to set up a gold medal match with Venter, while Kriel directly qualified for the bronze medal match.
Venter could not repeat his accurate shooting of the previous round with Hoffmann booking an 14/15. Venter was only able to respond with 12/15. Kriel (11/15) still managed to hold on to third place after beating Slabbert (10/15) with the slightest of margins.
“The increase in participant numbers suggests that CTSA development efforts are paying off with a new generation of Namibian Olympic Trap shooters emerging like Johan Venter, Ian Kriel, Mike Pinsenschaum, Frank Dahl and junior Oliver Hoffmann alongside well tested and tried veterans Hasso Ahrens, Sven Ahrens and myself”, Gaby said.
Over the next few month she will focus all her energy on the Olympic Games. The preparation includes part-taking at two World Cups, with one being on the Olympic range in Rio in April, giving Ahrens a first taste of what to expect come August. The second one is scheduled for San Marino in June.