Shooters clash at Mountain View
Jamaica's top pistol shooters, led by Grandmaster Lesgar 'Speedy' Murdock and Master Andrew Yapp, will take on one of the world's most celebrated champions this weekend, six-time World Shoot winner, Frenchman Eric Grafuell.
The two-day Jamaica Invi-tational Pistol Tournament (JIPT), starting today at the Jamaica Rifle Association's Mountain View Avenue range, will also serve as the first of two qualifiers for Jamaica's team to the 2017 World Shoot in Paris, France.
Grafuell joins past United States champions, Chris Tilley and Frank Garcia, as guests shooters in what is set to be a sizzling showdown over 10 exciting stages, the biggest being the 32-round stage 10, 'Back Tracker, designed by Harry Chin Hing.
Squad Nine, which will shoot tomorrow, features Grafuell, Murdock and Yapp in Limited Division at the tournament which has a heavy subscription of 65 entries.
Tilley, last year's Open Division champion, will go up against Jamaican veteran Tony Johnson, winner of the division's high overall title at the recent Easter Xtravaganza at Woodleigh in May Pen, Clarendon.
Garcia is back to defend his Production Division title and will face another Woodleigh high overall winner, Ryan Bramwell.
All eyes will be on Grafuell, who said he will enjoy shooting in a tropical climate after winning his last World Shoot title, Production Division, in Frostproof, Florida, last October.
"What I am sure of is I like the heat, not the cold," said Grafuell, as he sharpened his skills at Woodleigh yesterday after arriving in the island Wednesday night.
"I am on the range, training. I see the motivation of the local shooters who want to be better in the sport," said the Frenchman, listing the Philippines, 1999; South Africa, 2002; Ecuador, 2005; Indonesia, 2008; and Greece, 2011, as his first five World Shoot Championship titles, shooting in Standard Division.
Action starts at 10 o'clock this morning. However, the tournament's opening ceremony is set for 8:30 tomorrow morning.