Sports

Sasso back with a bang to claim All Jamaica tourney

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 09, 2018

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Former National Shotgun Champion Christian Sasso returned with a bang at the National Sporting Clays 200-target All Jamaica Tournament at Worthy Park Estate, Clarendon, yesterday.

Sasso, who recently took some time away from the sport for personal reasons, showed no signs of rust, as he displayed sharp focus and toughness of spirit to outlast the competition over the two-day tournament.

A competitive 16-station course set by O'Neal Brown and team, along with the searing heat of the sun, made life difficult for the over 100 shooters were on show.

But the blazing Sasso proved top marksman after he tallied 82 on Saturday's opening day before adding 87 yesterday for a total of 169, heading into an enthralling Super-six shoot-off.

In the three-station shoot-off which offered the tournament's top six performers an additional 25 birds to decide the overall champion, Sasso knocked down 21 birds to cop the title with an overall tally of 190 hits.

“The competition was very tough and close at one point, but I held my nerves and did enough to win. I think I definitely need some more training and going forward I intend to put some work in so that I can hold off the competition some more from the early stages.

“But it feels good to be back in the winners' enclosure. I wasn't sure what to expect coming in because, like I said, I took some time off to work on my personal life, but I am back now,” Sasso told the Jamaica Observer shortly after his victory.

“Yesterday (Saturday) I didn't shoot so well but I came out today (yesterday) in a positive frame of mind and I think I did excellent enough to win. So I am going to celebrate for now and then back to the drawing board later on to improve my game,” he added.

Sasso was six shots ahead of runner-up Chad Ziadie, who had 19 hits in the Super-six to end with an overall total of 185, after shooting a tidy 82 and 84 over the two days.

The ever-consistent Bruce DuQuesnay (183) topped the “A” class after adding 18 birds from the shoot-off to his initial tally of 165, which comprised an impressive 86 on the opening day and 79 yesterday.

Geoffrey Ziadie (179), who made the shoot-off a family affair with his son Chad, was second in the “A” class, with the back-to-form Ray McMaster (178) in third. Ziadie had shots of 82 and 81 in his initial score of 163, while McMaster, who started slowly on Saturday with 79, shot a decent 84 on yesterday's final day, which earned him a spot in the shoot-off.

Nicholas Benjamin (175) was the other Super-six competitor.

The vastly improved Wendy McMaster is well on her way to copping the female title for a third-straight year, after she topped the Ladies' division with 128 hits courtesy of scores of 57 and 71 across both days.

She was one shot ahead of Toni Barnes (127), who is also relatively new to the sport, with Yasmin Eyre (102) in third.

McMaster worked her way up to the “C” class in brisk timing by virtue of relishing the challenge to rise above expectations.

“This year for me was a bit of a tough year because I had more competition throughout. Toni Barnes has been shooting well and she started out nine shots ahead of me from the first day, but I had to motivate myself and regain my focus as I went along, executing one pair at a time,” she told the Observer.

“The “C” class is very challenging because I am up against an all-men cast and there are a lot of good shooters there who are finding it difficult to move up to “B” class. But with continued hard work and mental preparation I am hoping to excel in the “C” class and rise to the top and move to “B” class at the end of the year,” McMaster added.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hopwood (156) finished tops in the “B” class ahead of Ryan Chen (155) and Zachary Chen (147).

Danzell Knight (146) was top gun in the “C” class, followed by Rick DuQuesnay (142) and Mark Desnoes (141). The “D” class honours went to Nathan Chin (143), with Toby Hugh (141) and David Wong (138) taking the runners-up spots.

Chin also topped the Sub-junior class.

The “E” class was topped by Richard Todd (128), ahead of Rajhir DaCosta (122) and Damien Sawyers (117).

Gordon Bucknor (1200) won the Hunters division, with Zachary Josephs (116) and Ryan Lue (110) finishing second and third, respectively.

Tom Tavares-Finson (146) continued his rich vein of form in the juniors division, finishing ahead of Hugh and Desnoes.

The awards banquet to officially crown all champions is scheduled for tomorrow at Jamaica Pegasus.

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