In a near repeat of his 2007 World Championships performance Ireland’s Philip Murphy came close again to taking the honours at the ISSF world Championships 2009 in Maribor, Slovenia.
Dropping only three targets throughout the competition Philip finished with a score of 122 and tied for the last two places in the mens final with current Olympic gold medallist David Kostelecky, Marian Kovacocy and defending World Champion Michael Diamond.
It was Kostelecky and Kovacocy who in the end took the final two places and Kovacocy went on to win the title in spectacular fashion.
The shooting range in Maribor has been host to some very high scoring competitions in the past and the current World championships were no different and from early on scores of 75 straight were recorded and a large contingent of athletes posted scores of 70 and above.
The Irish squad under the direction of Team Leader Kevin Kilty and Coach Joe Neville took to the competition quickly posting scores of 25, 25, 23 for Murphy to leave him in joint third overnight whilst Burnett posted 23, 23, 24.
With the start of the second day of competition it was imperative that the previous days good performances be repeated in order to make the final. Murphy started confidently with a 24 to follow with another 24 to leave him sitting tantalisingly close on 122 and in a possible shoot off position for a place in the final. Burnett completed the competition with a 23 and 24 for an overall 117.
With the tension of who would make the mens final hanging palatably in the air it was down to the last squad of the day to determine who would be in the shake up. San Marino’s Amici and Czech’s David Kostelecy could still take the final two positions outright but both dropped two targets on their last line to leave a four way tie for two spots in the final.
Murphy drew the first position in the shoot off and a tricky left hander proved too much for Philip’s run of form. He was followed by Kostelecky who shot the target and then by Michael Diamond who also missed. It was down to the Slovak Kovacocy to decide the fate of Murphy and Diamond which he sealed by hitting the target.
It was with a sense of occasion that both Philip Murphy and Michael Diamond should both bow out of this competition as defending silver and gold medallist from the 2007 World Championships having put in such a spectacular and spirited defence of their titles.
In the end it was Slovakia’s Marian Kovacocy through the misfortune of Italy’s Fabbrizzi missing his last shot who took the coveted title of World Champion 2009.