The Sunday Leader

National Junior IPSC Team Wins Historic Bronze At World Shoot

  • IPSC World Shoot XVII – Florida

L to R: Gp Capt Waruna Gunawardene (General Secretary, NRA), Imran Meezan, Ishira Ritigahapola, Cpt Sarath de Zoysa (Rtd) National Coach/Team Captain/Manager, Seniya Punchinilame, AVM Kishan Yahampath (President, NRA).

The National Junior IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) team created history when they won the Bronze medal at the IPSC World Shoot XVII held in Florida, USA last week.

This is the first time that Sri Lanka has won any awards at a World Championship and fully justified the decision taken by the National Rifle Association (NRA), on the recommendation of the National Coach for Practical Shooting, Capt Sarath de Zoysa (Rtd), to enter a Junior Team to fill the three Slots allocated to Sri Lanka at the world event.

The National Junior IPSC Team, comprising current National Junior Champion Ishira Ritigahapola, (son of former National Champion Janaka Ritigahapola), Imran Meezan who had represented Sri Lanka in Malaysia earlier & Seniya Punchinilame, representing Sri Lanka for the first time, finished third behind the Philippines and USA Teams who won the Gold & Silver Medals, respectively, in the Open Division. There were over 1400 shooters from 89 Countries competing in 30 innovative and challenging Courses of Fire, where each Shooter had to fire a minimum of 498 rounds over a period of 06 days, in a grueling test of Speed, Power & Accuracy (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas).

The performance of the precision made Open Division Pistols and the Major Power Factor Ammunition, purchased in the USA, had to match that of the Shooter to achieve the best results when shooting at the highest possible speed.

Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan Shooters encountered numerous malfunctions with their Pistols that are over 15 years old and should have been replaced a long time ago. One Caspian Pistol failed the Equipment Test due to a faulty Safety catch and the other Caspian Pistol had repeated misfires and extraction problems. These two Pistols had to be withdrawn as spare parts were not available in the USA where the Pistols were manufactured a long time ago! Finally, the three Sri Lankan Shooters had to share the only STI Pistol available and that too encountered misfires in the latter stages.

In fact, all those who watched the performance of the talented Sri Lankan Junior Shooters felt sorry for them and it was embarrassing, to say the least. However, our Juniors proved to the World that they could be among the best in the World even with faulty equipment and if they had access to new firearms they could have improved their performance.

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