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SPORTS

Top sharpshooter Belinda Akoth of GSU promises fireworks at IDPA African Championships

UNIQUE SPORTS By Caroline Obuya | July 5th 2021
Sharpshooter Belinda Akoth holstering her firearm. [Peter Chitayi, Standard]

Top sharpshooter Belinda Akoth of GSU is leaving no stone unturned ahead of the first-ever continental shooting championship in Kenya.

When The Standard Sports caught up with her over the weekend, she was busy perfecting her shooting skills at the Jockey Club shooting range on Ngong road.

“There’s nothing much we are preparing. We are always ready, we will win,” said Belinda Akoth, ahead of the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) African Championship set to take place on September 2-5, 2021 at the Kirigiti shooting range.

Belinda who will be competing in SSP sharpshooter took her first swipe in a shooting competition in 2016 during the Annual Police Rifle meeting, at the Anti-Stock Theft Range in Gilgil.

She has grown in the sport and won several trophies in various divisions, advancing in the various classes. She prides on being the first lady sharpshooter in Kenya.

“I was in a comfort zone in Marksman. I felt the need to challenge myself to move from that category and push to sharpshooter. The competition there is so tough such that when you relax a bit you are out of the game.” Says Belinda.

A section of ladies from the Disciplined Forces who will be taking part in the African Champs. [Caroline Obuya, Standard]

Belinda, who uses a shadow 1 firearm because of ease of trigger manipulation, says she believes in the ladies team.

“Kenya has some of the best instructors and facilities. The combination of the disciplined forces- prisons, KDF, and GSU is one to watch. We don’t have a reason to fail.”

“We also have the home advantage. Most foreigners are not used to our kind of weather. The kind of sun that hits in Kirigiti and the dust from the courses of fire is not something they are used to. It will pose a challenge to them.” Says the top sharpshooter.

Belinda is of the view that if the IDPA African Championship was happening outside the country like it has always been the norm, not most shooters would have the opportunity to attend, because of the logistics involved and also getting permits.

“To excel in this sport you need passion, patience, sacrifice, and time. You also need resources because this is an expensive sport.”

“If you wake me up right now and tell me to go for a competition, I will go and shine. That is the level of preparedness we have.” She says.

“With the kind of training we have had we don’t expect penalties and disqualifications (DQs) at the match. African Champs tutapita na watu.” Belinda promises.

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