WINDHOEK – Veteran Namibian shottist Sven Ahrens had to settle for 2nd place on the overall point standings upon completion of the 8th edition of the annual African Grand Prix Competition at the Luiperdvallei shooting range, south of Windhoek last weekend.
South African Olympic trap shottist Tobie de Wet was the overall winner with Angolan Paulo Silva adrift in 2nd spot – leaving De Wet, the reigning South African champion to clinch his 2nd gold medal following his victory in 2011.
The Bank Windhoek sponsored tourney saw the opening 5 rounds obliging shottists to shoot a total of 125 clay pigeons to determine the best six shottists to advance to the final and De Wet demonstrated his class as he continuously shot some of the highest scores ever recorded at the continental showpiece.
In the final, he came up against local shottists Sven Ahrens and Gielie van Wyk, Franscois Marais, Paulo Silva (Angola) and Zimbabwean Mike Nicholson.
Each was left with the mammoth task of hitting as many of the 15 targets that were laid out by the state-of-the-art trap machine but the South African made no mistake, missing only one of his shots that guaranteed him the gold medal edging ahead of reigning Angolan champion Silva.
Both shottists started their challenge for the gold medal 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 – forcing his rival to miss a total of the three shots, while De Wet only missed the target once en route to claim gold that came along with N$5 000 cash.
Meanwhile, the race for 3rd place was a closely contested affair between Ahrens, Van Wyk and Nicholson who all came out of the 6-man shootout with the same score that forced the trio to go head to head in a sudden death match where the first contestant to miss his target would fall out, while the other two contested the bronze medal.
Unfortunately, it was Van Wyk who fell out although the 2010 winner enjoyed a good weekend with good scores and it was now up to his compatriot to salvage some honour and pride for the hosts and Ahrens fully obliged by claiming a bronze medal.
Both shottists came out with guns blazing hitting 9 from 12 targets each to leave them equal on points. The winner has to be determined via a sudden death shootout and fortunately for Ahrens, Nicholson missed his first shot, allowing the veteran Namibian shottist to dig deep into his experience to hit the target and win the bronze medal.
Namibia’s two-time Olympic shottist Gaby Ahrens, who was the only female in the lineup missed out on the 6-man final by only two shots, but gained some valuable
experience with her new weapon from Germany-based manufacturer Krieghoff.
However, she believes this was one of the best Africa grand prix in history if one looks carefully at the scores. “You can see this was of extremely high standard from all shottists, notably Tobie because was very impressive and really deserved to win the gold medal and would like to congratulate him for this win”.
By Staff Reporter