ISSF World Cup: Sheeraz Sheikh finishes 6th in Men’s Skeet

ISSF World Cup: Sheeraz Sheikh finishes 6th in Men’s Skeet

By Indianshooting.com   
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Sheeraz Sheikh during finals of Men's Skeet at the ISSF World Cup - New Delhi. Photo - indianshooting.com

Sheeraz Sheikh came up with a career-best performance in the qualification but could not replicate his form in the finals and finished 6th in the Men’s Skeet at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.

The 28-year-old Sheeraz shot a personal best of 121 (24,23,25,25,24) to match his score of Asian Shotgun Championship in Abu Dhabi last year, where he finished fifth.

The performance becomes even more commendable as Sheeraz got the better of former World Champion Jesper Hansen of Denmark in a shoot-off to enter the finals.

In the shoot-off, to decide the last two berths among the three shooters who shot 121, Sheeraz shot both the targets, while Hansen who had finished 5th at 2016 Rio Olympics, missed one. Timo Laitinen of Finland smashed both the targets to make the cut along with Sheeraz.

However, Sheeraz was not too impressive in the finals owing to lack of experience of a World Cup final. He missed four targets in the first twenty shots and eventually settled for the 6th position in front of a packed gathering at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.

“I have only been training to shoot high qualification scores. We are going step by step. Once I am ready for the qualifications, my coach will start training me for the finals,” said Sheeraz.

Ennio Falco (left) with Sheeraz Sheikh after the finals of Men's Skeet at ISSF World Cup - New Delhi. Photo - indianshooting.com
Ennio Falco (left) with Sheeraz Sheikh after the finals of Men’s Skeet at ISSF World Cup – New Delhi. Photo – indianshooting.com

Sheeraz was backed strongly by skeet coach Ennio Falco for his selection in the World Cup team. The Italian recommended the name of Sheeraz for the team even though he was not in the top three after the two selection trials.

Sheeraz who justified his coach Falco’s decision to select him was all praise for his coach who had won a gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

“My shooting has improved by leaps and bounds ever since I have been training with Falco. We work as team and our next aim is to do well at the World Championship,” added Sheeraz.

I am very happy with Sheeraz’s performance. I did not expect him to finish on the podium today as he is only training to improve his qualification scores. He is still not very comfortable with the reverse double which are only used in the finals but as am sure once he starts training for the finals we will soon see him on the podium, said Sheeraz’s elder brother and trap shooter Saif Sheikh.

Olympian Mairaj Ahmad Khan, who had won the silver in the World Cup in Rio last year, shot two perfect rounds in the morning but a round of 21 in the second on Wednesday, had taken the punch away from his challenge. The 41-year-old eventually finished 13th with a score of 119 (24,21,24,25,25).

The third Indian in the team, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa shot 116 (22,24,25,23,22) to finish 32nd.

The European champion Riccardo Filippelli of Italy beat compatriot Gabriele Rossetti, the reigning Olympic champion, for the gold to win his third World Cup medal.

Australia’s Paul Adams took the bronze to win his first ever World Cup medal.

The Results:

Men’s Skeet: 1. Riccardo Filippelli (ITA) 57 (WR) 122; 2. Gabriele Rossetti (ITA) 53 (123); 3. Paul Adams (AUS) 45 (123); 6. Sheeraz Sheikh 16 (121) 2; 13. Mairaj Ahmad Khan 119; 32. Angad Vir Singh Bajwa 116. MQS: Arjun Singh Mann 110; Amrinder Singh Cheema 110.

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