HomeSportFriendship Top Zimbabwean Shooter In World Champs

Friendship Top Zimbabwean Shooter In World Champs

PAUL Friendship of Cleveland Pistol Club in Harare, and captain of the Zimbabwe national Practical Pistol Team, emerged as the top Zimbabwean competitor in the six-day world championships held in Bali, Indonesia from October 25 to November 2.

He came 72nd in the standard pistol division. The shoot was contested by 1 200 competitors from 57 countries, and involved six solid days of shooting requiring in the region of 700-800 rounds per competitor to complete.  In many countries around the world, practical pistol shooting is a professional sport, which means that the top athletes in each of the five divisions are not only fully sponsored, but derive a substantial income from prize money, product endorsements and salaries.  Zimbabwean shooters, of course, compete for recreational purposes, and so the achievements of the national team in Indonesia are all the more impressive.
Warren King of Donnington Practical Pistol Club in Bulawayo was the second-ranked Zimbabwean in 78th place, and was closely followed by national team members Ian Kay and Troy Maidwell, also of Bulawayo in 93rd and 95th places, respectively.  Dion Yatras of Mutare Pistol and Rifle Club finished in 107th position, and the national team was rounded off by David Sutherland-McLeod of Bulawayo in 118th place.  Other Zimbabwean shooters were Pieter Greeff, Tara Maidwell and Neil Wratten all from Bulawayo at 156th, 194th and 236th respectively, and Ira Larivers of Cleveland in in 285th place.
The only low point for the shooters came when Harare International Airport, whose firearms storage and accounting procedures are far below any acceptable international standard, managed to lose two of the pistols when the competitors returned home.
The venue for the next world championships in 2011 is the island of Rhodes in Greece.  Plans are being discussed now for Zimbabwe to make a bid for the 17th world championships in 2014. — Own correspondent

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