SPORTS


Alipov claims gold and Rio 2016 spot in men's trap

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Baku, June 17, AZERTAC 

Russia's Alexey Alipov hit 34 targets in succession as he recovered from a poor start to win gold in the men's trap at the Baku 2015 European Games.

World champion Erik Varga of Slovakia was the only competitor to hit all 15 targets in the six-man semi-final, and missed only one shot in the final, but could only grab silver as Alipov recorded a perfect 15.

Italy's Giovanni Pellielo won the bronze medal match against Briton Ed Ling.

Alipov, a gold medallist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and silver medallist at Beijing 2008, missed two of his first four targets in the semi-final.

But the Russian nailed the next 11 to earn a shoot-off with Giovanni Pellielo to determine who would face Varga in the final.

It was Pellielo, a four-time world champion, gold medallist at Sydney 2000 and silver medallist at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, who cracked first in the sudden-death format, missing his eighth target.

Having hit the last 11 targets in the semi-final and all eight in the shoot-off with Pellielo, the 40-year-old Alipov, who has six golds among his 20 world cup medals, then deprived Varga of gold, the Slovakian's only miss of the semi-finals and final costing him dearly.

"This is preparation for Rio, but it is also the European Games and had the best shooters in the world, and was hard," said Varga.

Alipov's performance earned Russia a quota place at the 2016 Olympics. The shooter said: "I am so happy because with this win now I can participate to Rio 2016, which is amazing and exciting."

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