Braithwaite remains Caribbean’s best shot
Local, small and fullbore shooters have enjoyed yet another thriving year at the ranges indoor and outdoor, local and overseas. The Guyana National Rifle Association (GNRA) has proven once again that they are undoubtedly the best at fullbore shooting in the Caribbean at the team and individual levels.
They have made every Guyanese proud with their performances in the Caribbean, Scotland, Canada and Suriname. The year 2014 began with the arrival of world renowned shooting Coach from Scotland, Mr. Ian Shaw compliments of the Guyana Olympic Association, Crown Mining Supplies and Industrial Safety Supplies Inc.
Mr. Shaw’s work with the local shooters focused on technical refinement, team strategy and improving time efficiency which is vital to team shooting. The knowledge imparted contributed tremendously to the Guyana fullbore team’s performance at the West Indies Fullbore Championships, the Imperial Meet in England, the Commonwealth Games in Scotland as well as the National Championships in Canada and Suriname.
Guyana NRA shooters were successful at retaining the Short and Long Range titles at the West Indies championships in the land of Wood and Water, Jamaica. Taking a look further back, in the last eight years, Guyana lost the Long Range trophy once and the Short Range twice.
Guyana took back the Short Range trophy from Jamaica on home soil to make it three successive tours that the Guyanese marksmen have won both ranges in Jamaica, certainly a scenario that is not very much appreciated by the Jamaican shooters who have always been tough opponents for the Guyanese.
National Individual champion, Lennox Braithwaite was again unstoppable at the Caribbean level when he won the West Indies Individual trophy for the third successive year. National Captain Mahendra Persaud, Ransford Goodluck, Dylan Fields and Leo Ramalho were also in the top ten list in the Caribbean underscoring the quality of our shooters.
Guyana sent a five-member team to the Imperial Meet in England where they competed in the Individual and Junior Team shoots. The Guyanese won one gold and two silver medals. Braithwaite continued his rich vein of form by making it into the prestigious Queens Final where the top 100 shooters out of over 1,000 from around the world, are selected.
A three-man team attended the Commonwealth Games in Scotland just after the Imperial Meet where the GNRA has reported that it was the best performance of a Guyanese contingent at the Games where the Guyanese placed 6th in the Pairs Match. Even though Guyana did not receive a medal, the locals gained the respect from the more developed countries and international shooters at the games.
Upon return from the Commonwealth Games, National Captain Mahendra Persaud attended the Canadian National Shooting Championships and had a dream performance by placing 6th in a field that attracted hundreds of shooters.
Persaud amassed a total that was tied with the bronze medalist but was outscored on V-bulls. The performance of Persaud has been classified as the best performance by a West Indian in Canada and this has been agreed to by other WI shooters.
On the local scene, the Fullbore National Championship which was competed at the Short Range turned out to be very competitive with Lennox Braithwaite emerging the winner in the X-Class, while Mr. Peter Persaud was the winner of the O-Class.
The Smallbore shooters were not to be outdone and held monthly competitions and training at the Tactical Services Unit Ranges. The GNRA reported that they have developed a very good young brigade of shooters who are expected to do well in 2015.
This will gave the senior shooters more competition which augers well for the sport. The Smallbore shooters also attended shoots in Suriname with favourable returns. The learning experience will be used to better their skills, a number of the competitors have already improved their pistol collection with a view of doing better this year.
Mr. Ryan McKinnon and Smallbore Captain Mr. Dale Hing were the outstanding individual performers in 2014.
The GNRA was successful in retaining its affiliation with the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) in November 2014. Our new Regional Director is Mr. Harold Hopkinson and he will be working closely with the Smallbore Captain in planning the 2015 calendar. An international IPSC shoot is being planned for 2015.
Two of the GNRA Executive Committee Members, Messrs Mahendra Persaud and Dale Hing attended the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Congress in Munich Germany in early December 2014 where elections were held.
Incumbent ISSF President, Mr. Olegario Vazquez Rana of Mexico was returned. Persaud noted that many new contacts were established and this augers well for the GNRA whose President, Brigadier Mark Phillips wishes to thank all those corporate entities and individuals who assisted the association during the year under review.
Special thanks are being extended to GNRA Patron, His Excellency President Donald Ramotar, the Ministry of Sports, Guyana Revenue Authority, the Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force and GOA President K. A Juman Yassin among others.
The GNRA has noted that even though its goal of acquiring land in a suitable and secure location to construct an Indoor Range keeps eluding them, they remain focused that it will be accomplished which will undeniably help with the development of its new crop of Olympic shooters for the future.
This year will see the fullbore shooters training for the World Long Range championship set to be held in the USA, while the Smallbore competitors will be aiming to dominate at the Caribbean level. (Franklin Wilson)
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