Namibia’s leading female shottist, Gaby Ahrens, booked herself a ticket to next year’s Summer Olympics in Brazil’s metropolis, Rio de Janeiro, following her astonishing victory at the African Championships in the Olympic Trap discipline in Egypt on Monday.
The 34-year-old defeated Mariem Rammah of Morocco with 15:10 in an intense final, which initially swung Rammah’s way as Ahrens missed the first three targets, as opposed to two missed shots by her opponent.
Showing strong character, the Namibian shottist got back into contention by hitting all of the remaining clay pigeons, while Rammah missed on several occasions to give Ahrens her second continental crown after 2011.
“I prepared for this event all year and worked very hard to achieve my goal. This makes me happy and right now my focus shifts to the Olympic Games,” the new continental champion enthused.
The blonde Namibian also took time to applaud her coaching team, especially her father, Hasso Ahrens, a noted former footballer and hailed the Namibian Olympic Committee (NNOC) for its continued support.
Nevertheless, things did not start off well for Ahrens as the jury in North Africa ordered six ammo rounds for testing, causing stress for the Namibian as she feared she wouldn’t have enough ammunition for the actual qualification round.
Her stress was evident during the first qualification round where she only managed 17 hits, but nonetheless, this proved to be a fluke. With 21 hits in round two, accompanied by 22 in the third and final round, Ahrens accumulated a total of 60 hits to move into the semi-final on 4th place.
She finally wrapped up proceedings with a fantastic 12/15, the best semi-final score of the day, to book her place in the final.