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Ahrens off to Cairo for the African Championships

Olympic trap and skeet shooter, Gaby Ahrens, with her new Krieghoff shotgun.

Olympic trap and skeet shooter, Gaby Ahrens, with her new Krieghoff shotgun.

Namibia’s Olympic trap shooter Gaby Ahrens will travel to the Egyptian capital Cairo tomorrow to defend her title at the African championships which are scheduled to go underway next week Wednesday. The 32-year old, who won the continental title back in 2011, will be the only Namibian shooter to travel to northern Africa. Her farther Hasso Ahrens will accompany her as coach and manager.
“I have a good feeling for this event. My ultimate aim is to get a place among the top two and therefore qualify for the Commonwealth Games later this year in Scotland, although defending my title would obviously be a great success. I’m looking forward to giving my best”, a confident Ahrens said. To fulfil her dream, the bronze-medallist of the 2010 Commonwealth Games has been training on the shooting range at the military base Luiperdsvalley south of Windhoek nearly every day for the last couple of weeks. She hopes that the target practise coupled with endless hours in the gym will give her the edge over her opponents.

“I have practised very much for this event and I hope this will pay off in Egypt”, she said. During the week she shoots all by herself, while she only has competition on weekends when the club members put her to the test. The two-time Olympic athlete sees her biggest competition in the shooters from the North African countries such as Morocco and Egypt. The South Africans, who have always been title contenders throughout the years, have pulled out of the competition due to the political unrest in Egypt. “With the exit of the South Africans, the North African countries will probably be my hardest competition. But it’s rather difficult to judge the strength of my opponents. All that’s important is that I stick to my own routine”, she argued.
Meanwhile Ahrens highlighted that she has gotten used to her new weapon, which was generously provided to her from German manufacturer Krieghoff. “The gun is a dream come true”, a delighted Ahrens said. At the Namibian Grand Prix late last year, the 32-year old still faced some problems with the gun as she had limited time to train with it, but her victory at last weekend’s national trails showed that the pair have grown to become a unit. It was the first national trial shoot of five which are spread out throughout the year. All Namibians have to shoot a minimum of three of them to be able to represent their country abroad. Although Ahrens only had to shoot three rounds as prescribed for women, then she went all the way over five rounds with her male competitors. The day however didn’t start too bright for Ahrens as she could only take 102 targets of 125 during the five qualification rounds, while the likes of Gielie van Wyk and Etienne Jooste hit their mark on 114 and 112 occasions respectively. But as the tournament wore on, Namibia’s sports woman of the year of 2010 found her usual form to score 12 out of 15 during the finals to qualify for the gold medal match against van Wyk, who himself managed a 12/15. She further wanted to express her gratitude to Wecke&Voigts and Hyundai Namibia, who have joined hands with her as sponsors.

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