… As they bag five gold medals in Germany
NAMIBIAN shooters Michael Schoemann and Leon Heyns have stunned the Precision Pistol Competition (PPC) 1500 World Championship, held in Germany, by bagging a whopping five gold medals.
Namibia Pistol Association (NPA) Chairman, Michael Jaeger said this week that what was supposed to be a learning curve for the two shooters turned into a mammoth gold medal haul at the just-ended championship, which took place from 17 to 20 August.
He said that Schoemann and Heyns not only surprised the international shooting community, but also the NPA.
“Some might think it was beginner’s luck, but Schoemann is pure talent. He returned home with four gold medals, in his respective class, while Heyns, who was also the chef de mission (head of mission), was tasked to obtain his International Range Officer Certificate, while marketing Namibia as one of the best sport shooting destinations in the world, at the event. He did this successfully, while also winning a further gold medal for the country,” said Jaeger. “Shooting against a total of 12 countries, with a total of 380 shooters, we can only be proud of our athletes’ achievements.”
It was the first in the NPA’s 42-year history that it had sent a team to the Precision Pistol (PPC) 1500 World Championship. Jaeger said that PPC 1500 is still known as the Police Pistol Combat in North America, and is a shooting competition focusing on precision shooting from a variety of stances (standing, kneeling, sitting and prone) at varying distances (3, 7, 15, 25 and 50 yards), including shooting from behind an obstacle. “The competition seeks to create a measure of similarity to real world situations, and is considered one of the forerunners of practical shooting,” he said. Jaeger said that the competition format was developed in the United States between 1957 and 1958, and was intended to help police officers improve their firearm skills in the line of duty. “Originally it was a revolver-specific competition, because most police officers carried this type of sidearm, but it was later expanded to include auto-loading pistols,” he said.
Jaeger said the association, which was established in 1975, focused on developing members to become professional participants at local, as well as international level, in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Olympic routines for 22m pistol and air pistol competitions.
“Before the independence of Namibia, competitions were mainly held between the association and South Africa,” he said.
Jaeger said that private members mainly competed against the South African Defence Force and the police force teams. “Those years, the shooting sport only offered the ISSF routines, combined with the service pistol routines, to cater for the defence force and the police.”
He said that in 1983, the Namibian Shooting Union was formed to govern the additional Olympic clay shoots, and that some rifle codes, which include 22-calibre rifle and the Bisley, were added. “Before Independence, Namibia then known as South West Africa, was banned from the Olympic Games, due to apartheid and the liberation war in the country. Despite all these hardships, the Namibian Pistol Association carried on, and after independence, Namibia received permission to take part at the Olympic Games.” Jaeger said the country has produced excellent marksmen, including Freidhelm Sack and Andre Malherbe, who competed at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games in air pistol and free pistol categories, as Gaby Ahrens, who has since retired. He said the German team has commended the NPA representatives for the professional and friendly manner, in which they were received when they visited Namibia.
He said the NPA is proud to have gained affiliation to the WA1500 Association earlier this year. The next national open championship is scheduled for November 2018, in Alsfeld,Germany.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015