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The West Indies fullbore rifle team will host the prestigious Australian Match for the first time on May 17, following next week’s West Indies Fullbore Shooting Championship, in Barbados.
The event, which requires the approval of the Australian National Rifle Association, is being introduced by Great Britain, which is currently on its penultimate leg of its 2013 tour of the West Indies.
The tour began in Jamaica last month and continued in Guyana, before the highly-rated British shooters landed in T&T, where they closed three days of shooting at the facility in Tucker Valley, Chaguaramas, yesterday. It concludes in Barbados, the host of next week’s West Indies Fullbore Shooting Championship.
The T&T team which is skippered by Ezekiel Joseph includes president of the West Indies Fullbore Shooting Council (WIFBSC) Norris Gomez, and top marksmen Carl Awong, Clarion Tang Choon, Leslie Chung, Oscar Waldron, Justin Lall, Sean Elliott, David Rajnauth, John Fong Yew, John Soanes.
Both teams, T&T and Great Britain, will depart for Barbados tomorrow.
Prior to the West Indies Fullbore Shooting Championship, regional and international shooters will compete in individual competition, which is expected the main criteria for selection of the West Indies team for the Australia match.
The Australia match, which was first shot in 1907 has seen Great Britain win the most titles (22), four more than Australia (18). Only two other teams have won the event, New Zealand (six) and Canada (four). The West Indies has featured in four previous events but has never won.
The event is being brought to the West Indies and specifically Barbados as it provides the only suitable facility.
Regional shooters will travel to Barbados from T&T, Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua/Barbuda and Bermuda, while international competitors are expected from the United States, Australia, Canada and the Channel Islands.
The 21-member Great Britain team is expected to prove a difficult challenge in the Australia match as the defending champion is with a host of top experienced shooters, including its captain Nigel Penn, who toured the West Indies on three previous occasions. Six of the team members have represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games.