'Confidence booster' - Barnes nails fifth national championship title
Shooting with bullseye accuracy and a never-say-die tenacity, top marksman Shaun Barnes won a fifth national title by claiming top honours in the Stewart Industrial AC Delco National Shotgun Championship at Woodleigh in Clarendon, coolly dispatching a compact field of 91 in the sporting clays competition.
While the defending champion, Richard Azan, did not defend his title this year by virtue of being overseas, Barnes' brilliant score of 191 overall highlighted Saturday and Sunday's premier 200 birds vent.
"Winning this five times has boosted my confidence. I feel good. I wasn't focusing on a win, I was focusing on breaking one target at a time and going through every single station. Whatever the outcome was, I would have been happy to just shoot my best," a quiet, but happy Barnes told The Gleaner in an interview.
With the shooters taking aim at 100 birds each day, Barnes, on 172, overturned a six-point deficit on former champion Christian Sasso to eventually overcome Errol Ziadie, 166, and nine-time former national champion, Ian Banks, who shot 161.
Sunday's climax saw good marksmanship in the Super Six round where the six top shooters fired at another 25 birds to get the overall winner.
At the end of the Super Six, Barnes shot 19 to end on 191; Ziadie ended on 184 for first runner-up; Banks, 178 for second runner-up; and Ziadie, 176; Robert Yap Foo, 171; and Craig Simpson, 166.
Meanwhile, the ladies' title went to 16-year-old student Jolie Chen, who overcame Marguerite Harris in a shoot-off after both ended the tournament on 97.
"Very happy with the win. Yesterday (Saturday) was a bit shaky, but I came out and I thought I did a lot better. I just came and tried to do better and improve on each target," said Chin, who last won two years ago.
Jamaica Skeet Club President Khaleel Azan, was pleased with the quality of the competition and growth of the sport in recent times.
"This is my final year as president, [and] I am extremely pleased with the turn-out for this championship, we had a good turn-out of ladies and a good turn-out of juniors," he said.
"It is always good for the sport when you have different champions, and what this really shows is that we are on to something good and the formula that we are using now is working out real well," Azan noted.
n A Class: Geoffrey Ziadie 167
n B Class: Mark Desnoes 147
n C Class: Jordan Thwaites 136
n D Class: Brandon Laing 123
n E Class: Gordon Laing 123
n Juniors: Jake Therrien 130
n Sub Juniors: Mark Desnoes 117
n Hunters Class: Matthew Sale 110