Silver medalist at the European and World Championship, gold medalist at the ISSF Junior World Cup: Elia Sdruccioli’s 2017 has been quite memorable. And the only thing the 20-year-old talented shooter could do to improve it, was to climb that one, final step.

At the Changwon International Shooting Range in Changwon, the fascinating venue that welcomed the 52nd edition of the ISSF World Championship l’affascinante teatro della 52esima edizione del Campionato del Mondo ISSF, Elia arrived with great confidence, after participating in two final matches at the Junior World Cup held in Sydney and Suhl, where he respectively placed 4th and 3rd.

Sdruccioli qualified for the final with the score of 121 hits out of 125 clays, then wrestling his way to the top of the table and barely avoiding elimination in 3rd place, finally closing with the fantastic score of 55 target hits out of 60 and the shiniest medal around his neck.

Q: What was your spirit, your approach, as the championship was coming closer and closer?

A: I left home with only one thing in my mind, to win. That’s what I always do. I have this particular theory that says that the 2nd placed athlete is the first of the losers, so I can’t say I’m happy or satisfied until I claim the gold.

Q: And the gold is finally here…

A: Yes, finally! Right in my final year as a junior shooter. At the European Championship, despite pocketing two team gold medals, I wasn’t happy about my individual performance: I didn’t qualified for the final after losing a four-way shoot-off. That result probably gave me even more determination, to come here and take this gold.

Q: How does your career change, now that you’re about to become a senior shooter?

A: I’d like to think that this win is not a final goal, but a starting point. A trampoline towards my biggest dream: the participation at the Olympic Games. I haven’t had the chance to talk about it with the Italian coach, Mr. Andrea Benelli, but he knows my aspirations. And this title is the best business card I could give them.

This is Elia Sdruccioli: confident, swaggy, maybe a little bit cocky, but never disrespectful or distracted. Elia is not scared at all, he’s ready to continue the great and long tradition of Italian clay shooting. He’s ready to take the leap.