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Jamaica on brink of medals - Husthwaite

Published:Monday | May 8, 2017 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Ben Husthwaite (right), 19-time world shooting champion, instructs national shotgun champion Christian Sasso (second right) on how to anticipate the position of the clay and where to shoot at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore. Looking on are Leighton Sasso (second left), Christian’s father and vice-president of the Jamaica Skeet Club, and Nicholas Benjamin.

Nineteen-time World champion Ben Husthwaite, a specialist trainer with a local shooters, praised Jamaica for its fourth-place finish at last week's World English Sporting Clays Championship in San Antonio, Texas.

The performance has been hailed as Jamaica's "best performance in the tournament ever", with the local contingent scoring 782 points, behind top guns the United States (914), England (867) and Australia 818), respectively.

Jamaica staved off challengers from highly rated Italy, South Africa and Venezuela teams for their top-four among the seven countries which competed.

A total of 17 countries overall competed, with 10 fielding individual shooters, while over 1,000 competitors faced off.

Husthwaite, who finished second in the main Master Class event with a total 207 out of a possible 230 birds, said: "What they (Jamaica) achieved in Texas is like David beating Goliath.

"They beat a team from Italy filled with world and national champions. I am proud of everyone, and I know that they will medal one year."

Jamaica's team members included Craig Simpson (captain) (160), Bobby Chung (162), Leighton Sasso (139) (vice-president of the Jamaica Skeet Club), Geoffrey Ziadie (166) and former president Errol Ziadie (155), while the reserves were Raymond McMaster and Damien Moe. They shot 782.

The individual performances from the Jamaicans showed Geoffrey Ziadie (166 of 200 birds) coming second in the main event of the AA Class and fifth in the preliminary competition. The AA Class is immediately below the Master Class or highest competition level.

Five-time national champion Shaun Barnes (156) placed third in the main event of the A Class, first in the Super Sporting (81), first in the preliminary competition (85), and third in 5-Stand (80).

Reserve team member Ray McMaster (75), who was recently elected to the Jamaica Skeet Club board, placed fourth in the B Class of Super Sporting

Ryan Chung (65) who competed in the D Class was first in FITASC and fifth in 5-Stand. The other D Class member Jordan Thwaites was fifth in the main event.

Dominic Simpson (119) - E class - placed 10th in the main event. Female shooter Wendy McMaster also had a good tournament shooting 119 in the E Class of the main event.

The competition featured preliminary - 100 birds, main event - 200 birds, super sorting - 100 birds, FITASC - 100 birds, and 5-Stand - 100 birds.

Meanwhile, immediate past president Khaleel Azan, who was part of the Jamaican contingent, called it "Jamaica's best performance in the tournament ever".