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Watch: Chetcuti places fourth in ISSF Olympic qualifier, just misses out on Paris Games berth

Malta trap shooter Gianluca Chetcuti just missed out on winning an Olympic quota after placing fourth at the ISSF Olympic Shoot that was held in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old was bidding to win one of the two Quota places for this summer’s Paris Olympics and looked to be in strong form after a brilliant performance in the qualifying round when he finished in second place.

However, a sloppy start in the final cost him dearly as he could not make it onto the podium, which would have earned him a place at the Olympics.

Still, not all hope is lost for Chetcuti who can still qualify for the Olympics if he is awarded a wild card through the Tripartite Commission of the International Olympic Committee.

Gianluca Chetcuti takes his final shot at the ISSF Olympic qualifier in Doha.

Chetcuti was in blistering form in the qualifying round of the competition, when he managed to hit no less than four straights of 25 clays.

In fact, after hitting 22 from 25 clays in the opening round, he was flawless in the next four rounds to finish with a fine score of 122 points, level with Turkey’s Oguzhan Tuzun, of Turky, Albania’s Arian Kumi, and Matjaz Lepen, of Slovenia.

The last place in the final was taken by Spaniard Andres Garcia after coming out on top after a shoot-off with three other shooters.

Itay’s Mauro De Filippis, who has already won a quota for the Paris Olympics, topped the leaderboard with a score of 124.

The final turned out to be a different story as Garcia started strongly and was fighting for the top positions with De Filippis and Oguzhan.

Chetcuti could not match the consistency of the front-runners after hitting 15 from the opening 20 clays to stay fourth, three adrift of De Filippis and Garcia and four behind early leader Tuzun.

Albania’s Kumi was the first to bow out after managing just 11 points.

The second phase of the final, which consisted of ten shots, proved costly for Chetcuti, as he missed three clays that proved costly as he left him lagging De Filippis and Garcia by four points. Slovenia’s Lepen was knocked out with a score of 19.

Chetcuti faced an impossible task to overhaul Garcia or De Filippis in the next segment of just five clays and in fact he was next shooter to be eliminated, despite hitting all five clays to end with 24 points.

In the end it was De Filippis and Garcia who battled for the gold medal and it was the young Spaniard who prevailed 46-45 to take the gold medal and a place at the Paris Olympics.

There were two other Maltese shooters in the competition who failed to make it into the final.

James Galea finished 111th on 112 points while Emanuele Bugeja placed 119th on 111 points from a total of 140 shooters.

Malta will now be hoping for better news later this week when Clive Farrugia and Marlon Galea will be in action in the skeet competition, with both shooters eyeing a quota place for the Paris Olympics.

The skeet event will be held between Friday and Sunday.

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