By Carlos Kambaekwa
Namibia’s female Clay Pigeon Shottist Gaby Diana Ahrens has done the improbable by qualifying for this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China and even the 27-year old sharp shooter – who resembles a Hollywood star – must be pinching herself that her qualification for the global showpiece was no fluke.
Gaby shot a personal best of 69 out of a target of 75 to carve herself a place in the B Qualification in the Clay Pigeon discipline and will be Namibia’s only representative in the shooting discipline in Beijing, this summer.
As opposed to many local athletes who have been finding the going tough to meet the qualifying times – Gaby shot the minimum qualification score at the African Shooting Championship in Cairo, Egypt, in March last year, that saw her walking away with the silver medal.
She went on to record marvelous results in both the World Cup in Lonato, Italy, and the World Championships in Cyprus last year, before she followed that up with another good showing at this year’s World Cup in Beijing, last month.
Gaby also represented Namibia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, and although she did not end amongst the medal collectors – the 27-year old shottist is determined to put the experience gained in the land of the Kangaroo to good use.
Gaby and her father Hasso, a former football legend, who also doubles up as her trainer are to leave for Germany next week on the 31st of this month to participate in the week-long World Cup in Suhl, in the central east of Germany.
Upon her return, Gaby will be up in the skies again – this time off to Melbourne, Australia, for a two-week extensive training camp, starting on the 6th of next month, before she wraps up her Olympic preparation with participation in the South African Shooting Championships in Maccauwsvlei, near Bloemfontein at the end of July.
“So far, I’m very happy with my preparation for the Olympic Games and hope to do well and hoist the Namibian flag high when the Olympic torch is lit – come August. The fact that I’ve been competing against my male counterparts during the National Shooting Championships has certainly given me a measure of confidence after I came out tops with an amazing score of 132 out 150, with my closest challenger four shots off the mark.”
Gaby is determined to leave a mark at this year’s Olympics and says her primary target is to qualify for several World Cup finals next season, and to move up the ranks in the 2012 Olympics in London, England.
“Look, I would not be going to the Olympics if I did not rate my chances, otherwise it would just be a total waste of resources. In shooting there are no pre-favourites – it all depends on the day and some measure of luck to a certain extent,” boasted the young shottist.