Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) shooters will for the first time in ten years participate in the United Kingdom Bisley Imperial Meeting set for July 2nd to 27th at Bisley, South London.
KDF’s team of six joins a squad of 25 players drawn from Kenya Police Service and Chalbi Shooting Club for the 153rd edition of the Imperial meeting.
Kenya Sports Shooting Federation (KSSF) president, Shoaib Vayani, expressed optimism and excitement on the return of KDF to the international scene, having been kept away due to work commitments.
“Already, we are in talks with several countries in Europe including Britain that are willing to grace Kenya Open next year,” said Vayani, while presenting the team with the national flag at the Nairobi Sailing and Shooting Club on Monday.
Kenya managed to enter one shooter in Queen’s Final- Christopher Saina- in 2018 and Clifford Kiptarus in 2019 when the last shoot was held.
Team captain Sanford Otundo from Kenya Police Service said the return of KDF will strengthen Team Kenya’s performance in team competitions.
However, Otundo said the competition will be challenging, noting that over 1,000 shooters will engage in stage one with only 300 making it to stage two and 100 in the Queen’s Final stage.
“We have trained well in the last three weeks and we hope to get more in the Queen’s Final that features the top 100 firers,” said Otundo, noting that what is exciting and encouraging is that all the teams making Team Kenya have two women each.
Kiptarus, who had a perfect shot in 2019 to reach the Queen’s final, hopes for a better performance this time round having polished on his laying and trigger pulling.
“I wasn’t also good in wind and mirage reading, but I have worked on them,” said Kiptarus, who thanked the Inspector General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai for giving them enough time to train.
Kenya Police Service’s Grace Rantiile hopes to reach the Queen’s final on her third appearance after 2018 and 2019.
“I have worked on my long performance and I expect good results at 800, 900 and 1000m,” said Rantile.
Kenya Police Service’s John Ihugo, who has over 30 years of experience in shooting, is eying a good show on his 10th appearance at UK Bisley.
“I have improved greatly and hope to finally make it to the last 100,” said Ihugo, 59.