The new airgun shooting season started with a bang! The first competition was organized by the Malta Air-Rifle & Pistol Shooting Club at the MSSF Indoor Shooting Range in Bidnija last Saturday. Eleven shooters took part in 4 categories namely: Air-Rifle 'Mixed' event, Air-Rifle Juniors, Air-Pistol Men, Air-Pistol Women.
All competitions were highly contested and although this is only the start of the season already some remarkable scores were registered by some of the shooters. This looks very promising in view of the international competitions coming up especially for the MARPSC athletes' qualification for next year's GSSE in Luxembourg.
In the Air-Rifle event Alison Vella gave an early indication of her World Class shooting by registering her first Olympic MQS score of 377/400 in competitive shooting to win the 'mixed' event in style. She then continued her final 2 sets and also achieved a Personal Best with a 567/600 score to finish overall winner. Michael Xuereb ended in second place with a score of 532/600 points whilst Hungarian born Hynalka Adam, also getting a Personal Best Score of 529/600 points, took a merited 3rd placing. However after the finals Haynalka overtook Michael by a 7 point margin to finish in second place. In the Junior Air-Rifle event, newcomers Isaac Zammit and Isaac Calleja, having showed some excellent shooting, came first and second respectively in their first ever competition.
The Air-Pistol event was dominated by Ray Cacciattolo who won the event with 550/600 points ahead of Stephen Vassallo (531/600 points) whilst the ever improving Mario Mallia Milanes (496/600 points) finished in a respectable 3rd place followed by Martin Grech (469 points) in 5th position.
The Women Air-Pistol event was contested by two female shooters. Eleanor Bezzina shot a good 366/400 points superceeding the Olympic MQS score to win this event ahead of Galea Calleja who managed 308/400 points.
Next week-end three Maltese female shooters will be representing our country in the European Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships taking place in Jersey. These are Eleanor Bezzina in the Air-Pistol Women and Alison Vella together with Marianna Kisvardai in the Air-Rifle Women Shooting events.
Photo: Alison Vella (2nd from right) confidently shooting her first Olympic MQS to win the Air-Rifle event.