Jamaica take aim at WI full bore title
JAMAICA WILL take aim at the BWIA Trophy as West Indies Full Bore Championships shoot off at Twickenham Park today.
Guyana are the defending champions and they will face challenges from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda and hosts Jamaica, who monopolised the title from 2002-04.
The annual championship gets underway with individual events that will run from this morning through to Thursday.
This will be followed by team competition from Friday, October 7, through to Sunday.
Besides the major award, competitors will be vying for the BWIA 300, 500 and 600-yard Trophy, as well as the prestigious Milex 900 and 1,000-yard long range trophy.
When Guyana won last year, they actually ended a three-year winning run by Jamaica.
National senior team member, Dennis Lee, says the tournament is wide open as the top teams are almost evenly matched in skill.
"Trinidad, Guyana and Jamaica are on average pretty close together. Barbados have a lot of shooters, but we have the older shooters who are more experienced, which is what counts here. But there is no discounting young shooters, with young eyes," Lee said in an interview from the Twickenham Park range yesterday afternoon.
The 12-man Jamaica team, under the captaincy of Major John Nelson, includes the seasoned Warrant Officer Second Class, Canute C. Coley, David Rickman, Jos? Nunes, Carl Smith, Dennis Lee, Junior Brown, Paul Martin, Aubrey Yee Sang, Basil "Chuck" Davidson and Valeria Newman, the lone female shooter and captain of the Jamaica Small Bore Team.
Captain of Guyana, Majendra Persaud, was a little disappointed the weather did not throw up more challenges on the warm-up day.
"It was easy today. It rained in the afternoon but we needed some good rain to test it," he said.
Persaud noted Jamaica as a good hunting ground, having taken home the trophy the last time it was held in Jamaica in 2000. They are fielding the same winning squad from last year's championships in Trinidad, including the Caribbean's top shooter, Ranford Goodluck.
The Trinidad Rifle Association used last year's 125th jubilee celebrations to attract new talent, including juniors. Trinidad captain and President of the West Indies Full Bore Shooting Countil, Norris Gomez, listed Jamaica as a "formidable opponent".
Barbados fielded 15 shooters and team captain Karl Branch believes that they easily have five or six of the best shooters on their bench.
"Over the past two years we have basically developed a cadre of newer shooters and now we have a team with a bit more experience with reading the elements. We have a good chance of medalling," Branch said.
Bermuda hope one of the three shooters on their side can pick up enough individual points and attract the attention of the West Indies Full Bore Council team selectors. Captain Walter Trott explained that there are no training facilities on their islands, so training is done in Canada or Jamaica.
"We want to do well enough to represent Bermuda in the Commonwealth Games," he says.