Matt Coward-Holley has claimed Men’s Trap bronze and secured Team GB’s first shooting medal at Tokyo 2020 writes Jasper Fellowes
Matthew Coward-Holley has claimed Men’s Trap bronze and secured Team GB’s first shooting medal at Tokyo 2020. (Read here for an explanation of trap shooting.)
Matthew competed in a very tense final, with all competitors seeming to struggle with the pressure and the heat, dropping more targets than might be expected. Initially, Mexico’s Jorge Martin Orozco-Diaz looked unassailable, straightening the first 19 shots before his final began to unravel. Matt dropped some early shots but then regained composure with a straight run of 14 targets, bringing him back into contention for a place on the podium.
Kuwait’s Abdulrahman Al Faihan was the first to fall, finishing on 18/25. China’s Yu Haicheng was knocked out next, with 24/30. After starting so well, Jorge Martin Orozco- Diaz then succumbed in the third round with 28/35, narrowly missing out on a chance for a medal.
With Orozco-Diaz out of the competition, Matthew Coward-Holley was left battle it out with the Czech Republic’s Jiří Lipták and Beijing 2008 gold medallist David Kostelecký. The Czech duo would prove Matthew’s undoing, as they shot past him in the fourth round of the final, leaving the Brit on 33/40 and the third step of the podium.
Lipták and Kostelecký continued on for one more round of 10 targets to find themselves drawn on 43/50. This led to a sudden death shoot-off between the two countrymen, with Lipták narrowly securing victory and a well-deserved gold medal.
The final scores and podium positions are – Matthew Coward-Holley, Team GB, 33/40 bronze. David Kostelecký, Czech Republic, 43/50 +6, silver. Jiří Lipták, Czech Republic, 43/50 +7, gold.
After winning his medal, and cementing his position as one of the UK’s most successful Trap shots of all time, Matthew said “It’s my first Olympics, so to come away with a medal, it’s phenomenal.”
The Men’s Trap talent on display at this year’s games has been incredible, with a score of at least 122/125 needed in qualifying for a spot in the final. Despite a score that would have easily seen him into the final at most events, Aaron Heading missed the mark, scoring 119/125. Fortunately, Matt Coward-Holley had faired much better, shooting a phenomenal 123/125 in qualification, missing no targets in the last three rounds, to find himself qualifying in second place.
Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehák-Štefečeková takes Women’s Trap Gold
Meanwhile, It has been an incredible couple of days for the Slovak top shot, Zuzana Rehák-Štefečeková as she posted a perfect score of 125/125 in qualification before taking the top spot in the Women’s Trap event with an Olympic record score of 43/50. Zuzana is no stranger to Olympic success, having previously claimed the silver medal at both the 2008 and 2012 games, however, this is her first ever Olympic gold.
Zuzana was joined on the podium by The United States’ Kayle Browning who missed out on the top spot by the narrowest of margins, scoring 42/50. Alessandra Perilli of San Marino rounded off the podium with her score of 29/40.
Team GB’s Women’s Trap hopeful, Kirsty Hegarty, missed out on a spot in the final by just 4 targets, scoring 116 in qualification to finish in 16 th place. Kirsty still has a chance at Olympic glory, as she will compete with Men’s Trap bronze medallist Matthew Coward-Holley in the Trap Mixed Pairs event this Saturday.
Sporting Gun will be giving full coverage and comment of the shooting at the Tokyo Olympics in the next issue.