ASTANA – Vasiliy Struchayev of Kazakhstan won the Qatar Open Shotgun championship skeet event in Doha on Feb. 13. The rookie Kazakh sportsman overcame tough weather conditions and pulled off a major surprise, beating Swedish World Cup and World Championship medallist Henrik Jansson in the gold medal shoot-off 7:6 to take home the $7,000 prize.
The wind made shooting difficult, but Struchayev was able to clinch the biggest win of his career. “I am thrilled to win gold here,” Struchayev said, as reported by Qatar’s Peninsula newspaper. “This is the first major win of my career.”
Jansson said the conditions were very tough and that he gives full credit to the Kazakh sportsman for his brilliant victory. “It was tough conditions here and the field had some top shooters. Vasiliy was shooting superbly, but I am not disappointed with my performance either,” Jansson said, according to The Peninsula. Jansson took the silver and Qatari shooter Saeed Abusharib took bronze, the paper reported.
Struchayev received his cheque at the Losail Shooting Range. Struchayev won the Junior Asian Shooting Championships at the same venue three years ago. Mohammed Al Kuwari of Qatar won in this year’s junior category, bringing home his first gold, with David Pochivalov of Kazakhstan taking the silver and Niyaz Aghazada of Azerbaijan the bronze.
“These are the results of the many years of hard work,” Oleg Pochivalov, 40, director of the national centre Olympic training on shooting in Kazakhstan, said in an interview with The Astana Times. “We will continue working even harder to show the true potential of the Kazakh shooters.”
The eight-day championship was hosted by the Qatar Shooting and Archery Association (QSAA) at the Lusail Shooting Complex. More than 250 shooters from 33 countries competed in the double trap, skeet and trap categories. The organisers added the junior category for both men and women this year.