Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good on yer, Wilson, me lad!

By Donald Sensing

Peter Wilson of Great Britain has just won the gold medal on Olympic double trap shooting. Britain has now won four gold medals, with also one each in cycling, rowing and canoe/kayak.

In Olympic trap shooting, each shooter fires on 150 targets in the preliminary round in three sets of 50. The top six advance to the final, where they shoot one set of 50 targets. Medalists are determined by adding the prelim and final scores. 

Americans are not frequently found in the final round because Olympic trap is very different from American trap. It's much harder. I have shot both and there is a world of difference, mainly the speed of the target being very high in Olympic trap, 62 mph v. 42 mph. Also, the targets start out farther away from the shooter. Nonetheless, American Walton Eller set the Olympic record of 192/200 in the 2008 Olympics. However, this year Walton hit only 131 of the qualifying 150, placing him second from the bottom of the rankings.

Today, because of tie scores of 185 out of 200 hits each between Russia's V. Mosin and Sweden's Hakan Dahlby Kuwait's F. Aldeehani, they shot a sudden death tie breaker. Each shooter took turns at pairs of targets until one was ahead after an equal number of chances. Mosin shot first and hit both. Aldeehani missed his second target and that was that.

Gold: Peter Wilson, 188 out of 200, United Kingdom. (Wilson set a world-record 198/200 in March.)

Silver: Hakan Dahlby, 186/200, Sweden

Bronze: Vasili Mosin, 187/202, Russian Federation

If I was ever going to try to be an Olympic competitor it would be in trap, mainly because shooting sports are those in which old guys (like Dahlby, above ) can still compete, even though he is 10 years younger than I. (He started the final round in fifth place.)

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