Russia's Olympic bronze medallist Vasily Mosin sealed a quota place for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for his nation as he claimed victory in the men's double trap final at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
He was by far the best performer in the qualification rounds before he came up against a stern opponent in Italy's Marco Innocenti in the final, but Mosin shot 26 targets to Innocenti's 25 to take a deserved gold.
"The first step to Rio 2016 is done," Mosin said.
"The next goal is the European Games.
"I need Baku's gold medal in my collection, and I am going for it.
"Then of course I will be on the ISSF World Championship.
"That's in September, and it's another target to achieve, on the road leading to Rio 2016."
Despite the loss, Innocenti, who managed a perfect score in the semi-final, also clinched a vital Rio 2016 quota spot for Italy.
Italy rounded off the podium as Davide Gasparini secured victory over American Derek Haldeman to clinch bronze.
In what was also a thrilling contest, Gasparini outshot his opponent 27 to 23 to ensure the Italian team got the World Cup event in Al Ain off to a good start.
Haldeman's defeat in the bronze medal match consigned him to fourth place, while fifth placed Australian James Willett set a junior world record as he scored 142 targets during the qualifications.
But the day belonged to veteran Mosin, who claimed victory despite tough conditions at the Al Ain's Equestrian, Shooting and Golf club.
"It hasn't been easy at all," he admitted.
"The front wind has been challenging throughout the whole competitions, from the qualifications until the end, affecting the targets.
"Targets played with us and we played with targets.
"I am glad that I made it at the end."
The next medal event at the Shotgun World Cup meeting takes place on Friday (March 27) with the women's skeet competition.
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