WORLD junior shooting champion Cristian Ghilli has died at the age of 18 after accidentally shooting himself on a hunting trip.
The Italian skeet champion died overnight after being rushed to a hospital in Tuscany.
Ghilli had been hunting with friends in the woods at Montecatini Val di Cecina, in the province of Pisa, Italy.
However, after bending down to pick up fresh cartridges, he accidentally fired a round into his abdomen.
Friends called emergency services, with two ambulances racing into the forest.
He was taken to hospital, with doctors immediately operating.
But Ghilli succumbed to his injuries after they were unable to stop the internal bleeding.
The world junior clay pigeon shooting champion died around 10pm on Thursday.
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The president of the Italian Shooting Federation, Luciano Rossi, released a statement after hearing of the news.
According to local media, Rossi said: "Last October the young skeet player was crowned World Champion in teams and in the Mixed Team, accompanying the gold with a third individual place in the World Cup in Lima, Peru.
"In May 2021 he had won gold in the individual, team and Mixed Team competition in the European Championship in Osjiek in Croatia.
"With respect, silence, condolences in the face of a tragedy that leaves everyone upset.
"May the earth be light to you, Cristian."
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