National shotgun champion for the past three years, Shaun Barnes, warmed up for the Commonwealth Games next month by shooting a solid 90 out of 100 targets to win the Proven Wealth-sponsored Father’s Day Shotgun Classic at the Jamaica Skeet Club (JSC) in Portmore.
Barnes held off stiff challenges from runner-up Brett Thwaites, who shot 89 out of 100 targets, Geoffrey Ziadie (88/100) and Ian Banks (88/100) at the Sunday shoot.
“It was a challenging course with a lot of distractions,” Barnes said. “All of the stations were interesting. The wind played a major factor in the shoot.”
He added: “I started off a bit slow as I shot only 11 of my first 16 birds, but I managed to hold it together and shot 79 out of my last 84 birds and finished my final station with a perfect eight out of eight targets.”
He stressed that it was an extra-special occasion, since he shot alongside his father, John Barnes, on Father’s Day.
“My father really inspired me for this shoot and I dedicate this victory to him,” he said.
Barnes, who leaves the island on July 19 for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, thanked the JSC and Jamaica Olympic Association for giving him the opportunity to represent his country.
However, while he is a sporting clay specialist, Barnes pointed out that the Olympic trap shooting that will be done at the Commonwealth competition is totally different and he needs to train to get it right.
“The JSC has invested a lot in my preparation for the Games. They are currently installing an Olympic trap machine so I can get practice for the Commonwealth Games. This will also help young shooters in the long run,” he said.
The 33-year-old has some experience, though, as he shot Olympic trap targets at the 2011 Pan American Games.
“It’s very challenging,” he said, noting that with practice, he should do well.
“I have been given a lot of support by my family, friends and fellow shooters as I go on my journey. My main aim is to do well so I can qualify for the Olympic Games.”
Meanwhile, Gerry Chin and Ruel Chung shot a best of (81 out of 100 targets) to top B Class; Andrew Azan won two titles – C Class and Junior boys with (80 of 100 targets); Matthew Josephs also copped two titles – with a score of 72 of 100 targets he took E Class and Sub Junior honours; while Jolie Chin was the ladies winner with 61 of 100 targets. Asaf Keren took the Hunters’ title with a score of 64 of 100 targets.
The two-man team challenge went to the pair of Gerry and Isabelle Chin, who amassed 185 points.