Irishman Alexander Gill won the X-Class while rising local star Roberto Tiwari secured the O-Division when the West Indies Fullbore Shooting Council (WIFBSC) 150th anniversary championships Individual section concluded yesterday.
Under sweltering heat at the Timehri Rifle Ranges, Gill, who entered the final day trailing leaders Guyana’s captain Mahendra Persaud and England’s David Calvert clinched the title after the two leaders faltered at the 1000 yard range.
Gill sneaked to the championship, after ending the round with a 47 and 2 v-bulls edging Persaud [42 and 2 V’s] and Calvert [37 and 2 V’s].
Gill ended with an overall aggregate of 390 points with 24 Vs, which was just enough to relegate Persaud to the silver medal position on a score of 387 points and 33 Vs. Calvert secured third place with 384 points and 34 Vs.
Persaud, during a post-match comment, declared, “I am not disappointed in my performance, David Calvert is a four-time Commonwealth gold medal winner. Ask anyone in full bore rifle shooting who is the best and they will say David Calvert. He is the best shooter in the world and to be up there, competing with him is great.”
According to Persaud, “I am disappointed that I didn’t win the overall event, but I will settle for second place and I am very pleased. I finished ahead of him [Calvert] so I think I did well.” He further praised the quality of newly crowned champion declaring, “I am very proud of that boy.”
Despite the disappointment, the diminutive Persaud sealed the WIFBSC trophy, edging compatriot Lennox Brathwaite who scored 383 points and 26 Vs and Stephanie Ward of Trinidad and Tobago with a score of 383 points and 26 Vs.
Meanwhile, Tiwari secured the unexpected win in the lower division, tallying a score of 373 points and 12 Vs. Tiwari, during brief remarks said, “I was not expecting the performance, it came as surprise. Technically I am a T-Class, but they moved me up to O-Class so that I can shoot in the competition. I am overwhelmed with my performance, I did not expect to win. My performance made me finish in the Top 20, which now makes me an X-Class.”
According to Tiwari, “The wind is always an issue, the players have complained that the wind was very inconsistent and made it very difficult to judge.”
The event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Guyana National Rifle Association (GNRA), attracting marksmen from several nations inclusive of Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Britain and the Falkland Islands. The top 44 marksmen will now compete at the 300, 500 and 600 yard ranges today.
Subsequently, the top 20 shooters will compete for the GNRA 150th Anniversary Title in the 900 and 1000 yard sections respectively.