Sun | Sep 24, 2023

Wong tops competitive field to lift junior shooting title

Published:Saturday | May 27, 2023 | 12:54 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
David Wong, winner of the 2023 Jamaica Skeet Club Sporting Clays Junior Tournament.
David Wong, winner of the 2023 Jamaica Skeet Club Sporting Clays Junior Tournament.

HIGHLY rated local shooter David Wong was crowned champion of the Jamaica Skeet Club Sporting Clays Tournament after he fought off stiff challenges from 19 competitors in the first tournament for junior shooters since the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, which was dubbed the American International School of Kingston (AISK) Junior Sporting Clay Tournament, ended on Sunday at the Jamaica Skeet Club’s head office in Portmore, St Catherine.

Eventual champion Wong was in sublime form as he topped the field in both the preliminary and the super six stages of the competition. In the preliminary stage, Wong shot a near-perfect 48 out of 50 targets, while in the super six stage he managed to stave off Lori-Ann Harris’ tough challenge as he shot five out of six targets in the third round, while Harris dropped two shots, ending on four out of her six shots, which handed Wong the title. He ended on 64 points, while Harris finished on 63 points. Harris was outstanding throughout, however, as she became only the second female shooter to make it to a super six sporting clay shoot-off on local soil.

Wong stated that he felt no nervousness during the intense battle with Harris at the super-six stage, as he is trained to focus on the task at hand. He also added that winning the tournament has boosted his self-confidence by allowing him to realise that he can be the best at what he does.

“I’m taught to focus on my score and focus on one bird at a time, which ultimately brought me the win. It really puts a smile on my face and makes me feel happy, and shows that I can really do this and be the best. I’ve been practising and competing in other tournaments to keep my skills sharp, boost my self-esteem and confidence,” Wong stated.

Shaun Barnes, the six-time national shotgun champion who was in attendance, believes the tournament is a necessity for not only the sport of shooting in Jamaica, but for the shooters themselves.

“The junior tournament is a necessity as it helps the kids in so many ways. It helps to build their self-image, discipline, and not only the development of the sport, but themselves. It is something that we missed. We need, and we would love, corporate Jamaica to get more involved in the sport, so that we can grow the kids and can help them be better citizens,” Barnes said.

Khaleel Azan, local shooting coach and former president of the Jamaica Skeet Club, sees tournaments of this nature as instrumental for the country’s future in the sport of shooting.

“This is very pleasing. We have not had a tournament for three years, and this is really the future of the sport. I really have to thank Jared Rogers and Alveta Knight of AISK. We are very pleased with the turnout (20 shooters) and the results that we had here,” Azan said.