World champ Grauffel thrills at Ja Pistol Invitational
FRENCH grandmaster, Eric Grauffel, on Saturday stamped his class to emerge high overall Limited Division winner at the Jamaica Invitational Pistol Tournament at the Jamaica Rifle Association's Mountain View Range in St Andrew.
A six-time World Shoot champion, Grauffel amassed 1331.95 points to beat Jamaican grandmaster Lesgar Murdock, 1148.56, and Master Andrew Yapp, 1015.02.
Grauffel dropped two stages, three and 10, both to Murdock, as the grandmasters dominated the division with breathtaking action, which had the crowd trekking behind them from stage to stage.
Two other visitors, grandmasters Frank Garcia and Chris Tilley, retained their titles in Production and Open divisions, respectively.
Garcia, of Frostproof, Florida, beat Jamaica's A Class shooter, Ryan Bramwell, to retain his Production crown. He tallied 1328.25 points in beating Bramwell, 1186.62, and Robert Engh, 1104.03. The American dropped three stages, losing stage one and eight to Engh and 10 to Bramwell.
Meanwhile, the exciting Tilley retained his Open title by amassing 1330.09, beating Jamaica's B Class pair of Lennie Moulton, 1007.71, and Kevin Cheung, 895.57. Tilley won all but one stage, finishing third on the 10th to Moulton and Cheung.
Garcia said the gap between himself and the local shooters has been narrowing progressively, suggesting improvement by the Jamaicans.
"Every year I participate, the competition gets stronger. In preparing for this match, each year, I have to tune my training towards what I expect, as far as the competition is concerned," Garcia pointed out.
"This year, it was tough. I usually have a 50 per cent gap, this year was only 10. What that means is the competition is getting stronger. I always have to be prepared, knowing the competition will be stronger than the previous year," he added.