Baku's champion shooters have Rio in their sights

Baku, June 15, AZERTAC

A high-powered field packed with Olympic and world champions will do battle for the shooting medals at Baku 2015 on Tuesday – with qualification for next year’s Olympic Games also up for grabs.

The winners in each of the nine men’s and six women’s events will earn places for their National Olympic Committees at the Rio 2016 Games.

The women’s Trap will bring together the last two Olympic champions and current world champion. London 2012 gold medallist Jessica Rossi of Italy and Finaldn’s Satu Makela-Nummela, the Beijing 2008 winner and current world no.1, will face Germany’s world champion Katrin Quoos on June 16.

Add to the mix London 2012 silver medallist Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova of Slovakia, and the stage is set for intense competition. “There are very strong competitors here,” said Rossi. “It’s sure to be interesting until the end.”

The two women’s Rifle events will be headlined by world champions – Italy’s Petra Zublasing in the 10m and Germany’s Beate Gauss in the 50m Three Positions.

The men’s competition features three London 2012 champions, but one, Alin Moldoveanu, is not overly confident. “There are about 40 or 60 guys who are at the same level,” said the Romanian. “Every one of us can win gold.”

One of his rivals will be London 2012 silver medallist Niccolo Campriani of Italy, who will also compete in 50m prone and 50m three positions rifle events – the latter of which he is Olympic champion in.

There will also be four mixed teams competitions, which are non-Olympic events.

Campriani will compete alongside his girlfriend Zublasing in the 10m air rifle event, but says he will be the weaker half of the Italian duo.

“She is the world champion and the first woman to qualify for Rio 2016,” he said. “Of course she is better.”

The Baku 2015 shooting competition will run from 16-22 June at Baku Shooting Centre.

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