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19-man shoot squad heads for World Cup

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A CRACK team of Filipino shooters hopes to make an impact  in the European-dominated World Rimfire and Air Rifle Benchrest World Cup set Aug. 1-16 in Plzen, the Czech Republic.

“They’ve practiced hard to prepare for this event. In fact, a world record was surpassed by one of the players in practice,” said Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia during the send-off for the 19-man team Friday at  Manila Golf Club.

The outstanding feat came from Randy Paronda,  who registered a perfect score of 750 with 64 Xs for the Heavy Varmint 25 event. The world record was 63 Xs.

“I hope he (Paronda) can duplicate his  performance in the tournament,” added Garcia who has thrown his support for the team.

“When pressure kicks in, you will feel the tightness in your fingers. This sport is really a part of me because I was shooting before,” noted Garcia, a former rifle and pistol aficionado.

Team captain Tony Olbes and Paronda will banner the squad that also include  co-captain Enchong Formoso, Louie Gonzalez, Bernadette Gan, Maria Parsons, Augsie Estrada, Toby Gan, Jimmy Maniwang, Nonie Alvero, Rafael Cruz Jr., Marlon Palmario, Felino Neri IV and Dondi Santos.

Philippine National Shooting Association vice president Richard Fernandez said Francis Perez, Eli Canivel, Chim Esteban, Ronald Hejastro and Boy Rotea are also in tip-top condition for the  23-nation tournament.

PNP Chief Alan Purisima is among the top backers of the team.

In the 2012 World Postal Match, Olbes, Paronda and Gonzales brought home a bronze medal for the team event with Paronda finishing fourth in the individual category, where over a hundred shooters competed.


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