By Liam Morgan

Diana Bacosi led an Italian clean sweep with gold in the women's skeet event at the Shotgun World Cup ©ISSFItaly's Diana Bacosi claimed women's skeet gold at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Cup at the Al Ain's Equestrian, Shooting and Golf club in the United Arab Emirates to seal a Olympic quota place for Rio 2016. 

Bacosi, ranked number nine in the world, ousted 2008 Olympic champion and team-mate Chiara Cainero in the final after she scored 13 targets to Cainero's 10.

Despite the defeat in the gold medal contest, Cainero secured the last Italian quota place for Rio 2016, while Katiuscia Spada completed a superb day for the European nation, taking home bronze by beating Australian Laura Coles by 15 shots to 10.

Cainero had to endure a qualification shoot-off with reigning Olympic champion Kimberly Rhode of the United States but she eventually proved too strong for the American.

"I have been working hard to get upon this podium, in the last months," Bacosi said.

"I have been shooting more than I used to do in the past, and I was helped by a sport psychologist to improve my self-confidence.

"The hard work finally paid off today and it's great to win an Olympic Quota place, and an ISSF World Cup gold.

"I am happy that the whole team made it on the podium."

Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Chiara Cainero sealed a Rio 2016 quota place after she won a silver medal at the Shotgun World Cup in Al Ain ©Getty ImagesBeijing 2008 Olympic champion Chiara Cainero sealed a Rio 2016 quota place after she won a silver medal at the Shotgun World Cup in Al Ain ©Getty Images



Coles, who reached the finals for the first time, was fourth, while American Caitlin Connor was fifth and Great Britain's Elena Allen did enough to take sixth.

Although it was an excellent outing for the Italian side, coach Andrea Benelli refused to get carried away with the result with Rio 2016 just over a year away.

"Gaining three medals and two Olympic Quotas in a single match is an extraordinary achievement which probably has no parallels in the history of our sport," he said.

"We shouldn't lose the focus now.

"The road leading to Rio is still very long, and nobody is guaranteed a spot in the Olympic team right now.

"The aim is to peak right in time for Rio 2016."

The event in Al Ain continues tomorrow with the men's skeet competition.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]dethegames.biz


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