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Worlds apart and world class

Six-time world pistol shooting champion and former Olympian Jet Dionisio led an overwhelming charge by the Philippines to clinch an abundance of medals at the 2013 Australasian IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) Handgun Championships held recently at Rotorua, New Zealand. Thanks to the support of firearms and ammunition sponsor Armscor Philippines, the team outshot participants from 25 countries to rule the competition.

Dionisio, a multiple Steel Challenge champion in the early 1990’s, finished first overall for the Standard Division with 1992.4398 points, while Jeufro Emil Lejano took the lead in the Production Division with 1910.0408 points. Their teammate Philipp Chua, ranked first in the Revolver Division with 2032.3391 points. The Philippines captured the top spot in Classic Division with 5484.3188 points; Junior Division with 4604.0492 points; Production Division with 5496.1104; Revolver (Standard) Division with 4255.7329 points; and Standard Division (General Category) with 5708.6417 points. A total of 120 shooters from all over the country made the trip.

Other members of Team Philippines finished close to the top in individual categories. Nelson Uygconco placed second in the overall match and the Classic Division while Edcel John Gino ranked third overall for the Open Division. The team also took second place finishes in the Open Division General Category, Ladies Category and the Seniors Category.

“I believe the awards that the Philippines reaped in this year’s Australasian competition are more than the previous ones. I think the results of the competition definitely elevated the state of the sport in the country,” Dionisio said. “Everyone’s happy with the results considering that we had a hard time training since the preparations coincided with the gun ban. We all waited for our permits before we could train.”

Despite the constraint imposed for the impending May elections, the Philippines won 30 gold medals, 22 silver medals, and 11 bronze medals. In the individual awards, the Philippines clinched the gold medals in four out of five divisions and a silver medal in the remaining division. The country reaped gold medals in the team awards in four out of five divisions and a silver medal in the remaining division. Sponsors were a big help as the team used about P3 million worth of ammunition for their training.

“Armscor is committed to training and honing the next generation of competitive shooting champions. Our continued support for practical and competitive shooting is also our contribution to Philippine sports,” said Armscor senior executive vice-president and deputy chief executive officer Gina Marie Angangco.

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The build-up to the second Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge which will be held in Bohol on April 28 and 29 got another boost with the heated finish at the 2013 MBC Manila Bay Summer Sea Sports Opening. 

In the keenly awaited rematch between two of the best dragon boat teams in the country, Army held off its arch-rival Lake Buhi, in a close 250-meter open final. The two teams were neck and neck battle at the start, with the Army taking a slim lead at the half. Lake Buhi tried to pull off a spirited rally with its patented finishing kick, but this time, the Army paddlers were ready for them. Taking the bronze was a vastly improved Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) team, followed by the surprising Manila Ocean Park (MOP) paddlers.

In the showcase open event, Army had long dominated the result board in the absence of its perennial rival Navy. Recently, however, Lake Buhi had started to mount a challenge. As if to underscore the emergence of Camarines Sur as a watersport power, Lake Buhi’s paddlers have slowly but gradually become a threat to Army. Finally, at the first leg of the Cobra Regatta Races this year, Lake Buhi finally wrested the crown from Army. That set the stage for the rematch, as thousands of dragon boat enthusiasts paraded to Manila Bay to witness the surprising rivalry. Were Army’s paddlers getting old, or did Lake Buhi just catch them on an off day?

But to make things more exciting, Navy will make its return at the second Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge in Tagbilaran Strait, making it a three-cornered fight, with foreign teams trying to squeeze into the spotlight. Produced by the Provincial Government of Bohol, the Department of Tourism, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, Tapok-Tapok Bol-Anon, Cobra, Philex Mines, Smart and Cetaphil, it is co-produced by K N Productions, Bohol Paddlers Association, Tagbilaran City and the municipalities of Dauis and Maribojoc. This will be the first international dragon boat event in the province.


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