JAMAICA's Lesgar 'Speedy' Murdock Jr has once again stamped his class in the sport of practical shooting, this time in the United States (US).
Murdock recently fired his way to the ranking of 'Grand Master' in the Limited Division in the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), after a blistering campaign over the last two months.
Already ranked as a Grand Master in the Open Division, Murdock is the first Caribbean national to also hold the prestigious title in the Limited Division.
Starting among 116 rivals in Frostproof, Florida, Murdock shot his way to a second-place finish in the US International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Nationals tournament, going down to in-form Chris Tilley of the US.
The IPSC Nationals is also used as a qualifier to select the US national team for next year's IPSC World Shoot XVII, the premier competition worldwide in the sport of practical shooting.
It was conducted over 24 courses of fire (stages), requiring 500 rounds of ammunition, and saw some 10 countries participating, with Jamaica topping Caribbean counterpart Barbados.
As Murdock's campaign continued, the Louisiana Gator Classic was his next stop last weekend, in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
'Speedy' again played second fiddle, this time to Sig Sauer-sponsored Grand Master Max Michel, a renowned world and US champion on many occasions.
"There are two more matches for me for the year, the Monster Match in Frostproof, this weekend, November 2, and the Custom Gun Classic in Punta Gordia, next weekend, both in Florida, " Murdock told The Gleaner.
MONTHS OF TRAINING
He attributed his success to months of training and praised sponsor Akai Custom Guns of Florida, who, he said, has worked tirelessly to prepare both his guns into tip-top shape.
Other sponsors on Murdock's team include Go Guns USA, JJR Ammo, Rudy Project, Salomon Sportswear, Rasta Rocket Musik, friend John Lee and his parents, who have supported him along his journey.
In September, Murdock distinguished himself in the Open Division, placing 10th overall in the US Nationals, earning the High International trophy, competing against 250 competitors that included 36 Grand Masters and 40 Masters - the best-ever placing by a Jamaican.
Meanwhile, Jamaica's team selection for the 2014 World Shoot XVII, to be held next summer in Florida, will continue with the Open Qualifiers at the 2013 Woodleigh Fast & Furious Pistol Tournament, November 24.
The last qualifier, for both Open and Standard divisions, will be December 7, at the Jamaica Rifle Association's Christmas Hamper match.
- Ainsley Walters