Indian shotgun shooters Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Sheeraz Shaikh finished a creditable second and third, respectively, at the Italian skeet shooting trials for the upcoming ISSF World Cup.
The Indians were competing in the foreign category, ahead of the tournament at Larcana, Cyprus. Denmark’s Rio Olympics finalist Jesper Hansen won the event that was held at Tiro Avolo Falco, Capua, Italy.
Italy topped the medal tables in shooting at the Rio 2016 Olympics, with the country winning both the men’s and women’s skeet gold. A total of 150 shooters participated in the domestic trials and around 15 of them in the foreign category.
Both the reigning Olympic champions from the host nation, Diana Bacosi and Gabriel Rossetti also took part in the competition as well as names like Eric Delaunay of France in the foreign category, who finished seventh at Rio.
Jesper Hansen shot 121 to win the competition while Mairaj shot a series of 24,25,23,25,23 to finish second on a score of 120.
Sheeraz shot a series of 23,24,20,24,24 for a score of 115 to finish third. Both Mairaj and Sheeraz were thrilled to have shot well at the legendary Enio Falco range — Falco is the Indian national skeet coach.
The two Indians will be eyeing a berth in the Larnaka World Cup, scheduled to begin at the end of this month.