Local shoots to 3rd place
South African Olympic Trap shooter Tobie de Wet won the 8th African Grand Prix at the shooting range at Luipersvalley last weekend, while Angola’s Paulo Silva and Namibia’s Sven Ahrens had to settle for second and third place respectively. It was the second time the reigning SA champ won the prestigious event after his victory in 2011.
The tournament was generously sponsored by Bank Windhoek. During the first five rounds, where every participant had to shoot a total of 125 clay pigeons to determine the best six shooters that would then advance to the final, 24 year old de Wet already demonstrated his class by continuously shooting some of the highest scores ever recorded at the continental showpiece. The final then saw the South African come up against Namibia’s Sven Ahrens, Gielie van Wyk, Francious Marais as well as Angolan Paulo Silva and Zimbabwean Mike Nicholson. This time, each finalist had to try and hit as many of the 15 targets that were send out by the state-of-the-art Trap And again de Wet made no mistake, missing only one of his shots that guaranteed him a place in the gold medal match against the Angolan champ Silva. Both shooters started off the gold medal match fantastically, hitting their clay targets at will. But as the match wore on, Silva briefly lost his composure, missing two targets in quick succession. De Wet, on the other hand, kept his cool and calmly played out his routine. Eventually Silva had missed a total of the three shots, while de Wet was off target only once and therefore winning the gold medal and cashing in on the N$ 5000 price money. “It was a great tournament with an extremely high standard of shooting. I did well during the first rounds but when it comes to the final, your previous scores don’t count anymore, it’s a different story. It’s all back to square one. Thanks to the help from god I used my routine perfectly to win. I am very happy”, de Wet said. Meanwhile the race for third place was a much closer contested affair. Ahrens, van Wyk as well as Nicholson had all come out the six-man shoot out with the same score. The trio then went head-to-head in a sudden-death match where the first contestant to miss his target would fall out, while the other two would go to the bronze medal match. Unfortunately for the hosts, it was van Wyk who fell out although the winner of 2010 had a good weekend with good scores to his name. It was now up to Ahrens to still win a medal for Namibia. Both shooters came out with guns blazing; hitting 9 from 12 targets each. Being equal on points, the pair had to determine the winner by a sudden-death shoot out. Fortunate for Ahrens, Nicholson already missed his first shot. The Namibian veteran then used all his experience to hit his target and win the bronze medal. Namibia’s two-time Olympic shooter Gaby Ahrens, who was the only female to compete, missed out on the six-man final by only two shoots, but gaining some very valuable experience with her new weapon from Germany-based manufacturer Krieghoff. “I only practised five days with my new gun so I’m still getting used to it. Nevertheless, I’m very happy with it and I shot some good scores over the weekend. I’m positive that, with time, I will get back to winning ways”, the Commonwealth bronze medallist of 2010 stated. All in all, Ahrens believes that this was one of the best Africa Grand Prix’s in history. “When you look at the scores, you can see that this was of extremely high standard from all shooters. Especially Tobie showed a very impressive performance. He really deserved it and I would like to congratulate him again on his win” Ahrens said magnanimously.