Jamaica take aim at Pan American Handgun Championship

Observer staff reporter

Monday, July 23, 2018

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The seventh Pan American Handgun Championship was officially opened yesterday and the many competitors are now gunning to play hard, play fair and shoot straight when action gets under way at Woodleigh, Clarendon, today.

Over 20 countries, including host Jamaica, as well as Uruguay, Grenada, Canada, Barbados, Argentina, Venezuela, Germany, and the United States of America, are down to compete in what is expected to be a week of intense rivalry and strong competition.

The championship is a level four International Practical Shooting Confederation (ISPC) match held every three years with the four divisions contested being the Production, Standard, Open and Classic divisions.

It is expected to be two intense days of competition in the central parish starting today, before action switches over to Kingston at the Jamaica Rifle Association (JRA) on Mountain View Avenue on Wednesday and Thursday.

Things will then come to a close on Saturday with a man versus man shoot-off between top-seeded competitors in the match.

Lesgar “Speedy” Murdock, a world-rated shooter and captain of Jamaica's four-member Open division team, said his unit is ready and raring to go.

Kevin Chung, Bernard Lawrence and David McMorris are the other members.

“We have been practising for some time now, so I know that these guys are ready for it and we are going to give it our best shot,” the five-time World Championship participant and 20-year veteran told the Jamaica Observer at the opening ceremony at Emancipation Park yesterday.

“Personally, I think I should do well, I have been shooting every weekend for the past two months and travelling alot, so I just have to be consistent and focus in trying to reduce mistakes which could prove costly in pushing you down the ranks,” added Murdock, who ended 13th at last year's World Champs in France.

His counterpart Ryan Bromwell, who heads the Production division, is also confident of a good showing from his unit.

“We are very upbeat because we have been looking forward to this match for three years and we have been putting in a lot of training for a good showing. There is a lot of competition from the United States team and the Canadian team is also strong, as well as the Argentina team, all of those teams have Grandmasters,” Bromwell noted.

Despite that, Bromwell, who is one of two Master Class shooters on his team along with Anthony Johnson, and top A Class shooters Chris Hart and Darren Richards, will not be disgraced.

“But we have two Master Class shooters among us and our plan is really to give all those guys a run for their money. I am rating our chances very highly; we are not going to go down easy because it is our home turf, and we know the conditions, so I think we are going to put on a very good show,” he added.

Meanwhile, Andrew Gardner, president of JRA and match director, said his association is proud to be the organisers of the regional event which is attracting numerous competitors and officials to the island and boosting sports tourism.

The JRA stated that it “remains committed” to popularising practical shooting while highlighting its safe practices and place as a sporting event. As such Brand Jamaica's will be on full display while staging a “safe, secure and smooth event, leaving a good impression on all attendees”.

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