Armscor shooters Eric Grauffel of France and Jorge Ballesteros of Spain believe that Filipino practical shooters have what it takes to become world champions.
The 38-year Grauffel, a seven-time IPSC World Shoot champion, said Filipino shooters are a force to reckon with in practical shooting, mentioning Jethro Dionisio as one of those who excelled in the event.
“They (Filipino practical shooters) are already on top. We see some of them already in the podium and some of them are in the top 10 already,” Grauffel told reporters on Saturday in a press conference held at the Armscor shooting ground in Marikina City.
But Grauffel, who captured the gold in the International Practical Shooting Competition (IPSC) standard division two months ago in Chateauroux, France, said the Filipinos need to train and compete abroad to improve their skills.
“The Filipinos are far away in practical shooting. But if you want to push them in a higher level, you have to bring them outside,” added the French shooter, who uses his favorite pistol Tanfoglio 9mm. “I already met Filipino Jethro Dionisio seven times in different competitions abroad.”
Dionisio, on the other hand, settled for the bronze medal in the last IPSC Hand Gun World Shoot Classic event competition with 94.75% score, while his fellow Filipino Jeufro Emil Lejano took the silver with 94.76%. American Elias Frangoulis won the gold with 100 % score.
IPSC Open division winner Ballesteros also shared the same sentiments, saying the Filipinos are talented practical shooters.
“You have pretty good name of shooters here like season veteran Dionisio and Lejano. This shooter Edcel Gino was one of my main competitors in the last three years. Dionisio is the country’s best shooter and also Lejano, who also won big titles in some tournaments,” said Ballesteros.
Meanwhile, the two foreign shooters representing Armscor—Grauffel and Ballesteros—are presently competing in the 2nd Armscor’s President’s Cup also here at the Armscor shooting range in Marikina City.
Cebuano-born JJ Racaza is also expected to join them in the ongoing tourney.
The competition is a Level III Philippine Shooters Match Officers Confederation (PSMOC) Classifier and Qualifier Match for the 2018 United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Nationals.
Grauffel, Ballesteros and Racaza will also compete in the USPSA Asia Pacific Championship II PSMOC Level 5 Sanctioned Match USPSA Level 1 Match on November 28 to December 3 in Lipa, Batangas.
JOSEF T. RAMOS