IDPA shooting: Kenya shooters return home heads held high
SPORTS By Caroline Obuya | April 30th 2019
The 2019 IDPA Southern Nationals Pistol Competition held over the weekend at Space Bona Range in Touwsrivier in Western Cape ended on Sunday with a medal haul for Kenya.
A total of 100 competitors drawn from different parts of Africa took part in the event.
The eight Kenyans, who took part put up an impressive display of speed and accuracy to bag medals in various categories.
In the SPD Marksman Category, Dafton Mwitiki took first position with a score of 336.99 ahead of his teammate Robert Kibutiri, who came in second with a score of 355.49. In the CCP Marksman category, Mwangi Gikonyo came in third with a score of 336.12 for a bronze medal.
In the Sharpshooter CCP division, Peter Njoroge came in second with a score of 263.57 to scoop a silver whereas Geoffrey Pesa won the SPD Sharpshooter division.
Anthony Wahome finished second in the Expert category ESP Division for silver while Sammy Onyango competing in the Expert SSP division won gold. Robert Nyamongo was second in the ESP Master division for silver.
It was a joyful moment for Kenyans after Nyamongo, Onyango and Anthony Wahome all made it to the top 10.
For the first time ever, the top two shooters namely Flip du Plessis and Ian Van Der Bank tied in score at 157.977, which is quite a rare occurrence and a countback had to be done on points down to determine the overall winner.
Flip Du Plessis from South Africa carried the day to carry the overall slot. Tami Nieuwoudt from South Africa scooped the first lady position with a score of 347.03
The event saw a total of seven shooters, all from South Africa, disqualified for various safety infractions like the 180 degrees or straight finger rule, or disobeying the safety officers.
There were some categories whereby Kenyans won medals like SPD division courtesy of Dafton Mwitiki- Gold, Jeffrey Pesa Gold and Robert Kibutiri- Silver, but the medals were not catered for.
“I wish the government through the Ministry of Sports would come in and support sports shooting in Kenya like giving permits bringing down the cost of shooting equipment especially cost of ammo and sponsoring the international matches because at the moment it is self-sponsored,” said Mwitiki, who was making his debut at the Southern Nationals.
Dafton says their biggest competitors in the continent are the South Africans.
“The South Africans have an upper hand over Kenya because their cost of ammo is Sh15 compared to Sh100 per round in Kenya,” Mwitiki said.
Robert Kibutiri, who like Jeff Pesa is a first time competitor had a great experience at the competition.
“My good performance is down to the recent training by African Champion, Ian Van der Bank,” Pesa said.
All the shooters praised the government for facilitating the permits that enabled them to compete at the tournament.
The Kenya team is now eyeing the Africa Championships to be held in Cape Town as well as the World Championships to be held in Alabama, The USA, later this year.
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