By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Six-time Filipino world speed shooting champion Jethro Dionisio is back to his favorite .38 caliber pistol and is eager to get back his status as the top gun in the practical shooting scene.
Dionisio, “The Jet” to the practical shooting world because of his fast hands, and 15 other Filipino marksmen are entered in the 2011 World Shoot championships scheduled October 2 to 9 in Rhodes, Greece where they will try to put the country’s name back at the top of the draw- and-fire world.
“Yeah, I’m happy to be back to my first love, practical shooting and try to once again carry the country’s colors in international competitions,” Dionisio, acknowledged as the world’s ‘fastest gun alive’ in 1990, 1992 and 1993, said on last Friday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura.
“Shotgun was removed from this year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEA) list of events, so I decided to concentrate instead on pistol. Luckily, I made it to the Philippine team to the World Shoot,” Dionisio said during the forum, sponsored by Coca Cola Export, FILA, TV-5 and UNTV.
Dionisio was forced to transfer to Olympic shooting after the International Practical Shooting Confederation canceled the speed challenge in its calendar of events following the Filipinos’ seeming unbeatable run in his favorite event.
Besides pocketing with the three speed shooting crowns and three World Shoot Off diadems, Dionisio owns the world record in shooting down 140 targets in as many shots in a fast 58-second clip.
He was not as successful though in his new event romping off with only a silver medal in the Asian championship and a bronze in the 2002 Asian Games.
Dionisio, along with Bob Sajot, Armscor Shooting Ranges Inc. EVP/General Manager and member of the World Shoot Committee, expressed optimism that the 16-man delegation is capable of giving good account of themselves in he country’s bid for honors and prestige.
“Experience and youth can best describe the composition of the national team with jet himself leading our campaign in the Standard event, (former world junior champion) Jeufro “Jag” Lejano in the Production Side and Jerome Morales in Modified category,” Sajot disclosed.
Lejano and Morales are both veteran international campaigners dating back to the 90s and like Dionisio, who besides being the only man to have won the speed shooting championship (Speed Challenge), also earned the distinction of bagging the World Shootoff three times in-a-row from 1992 to 1994.
Besides Dionisio, father of four girls and son of former NBI shooting instructor Joe Dionisio, members of the PHI Standard Team are Edward Rivera, Michael Lontok and Ed Martin.
Joining Morales in the Moldified Team are Christopher Panganiban, Nelson Uyugonco and Enrico Papa.
Dio Marie Tayag, Jun Gino and Bernardo Mari Alejandro will also be campaigning in the Production category like Lejano.
Spearheading the country’s bid in the Open Class are Stephen Hinojales, Kenneth Rayb Agustin, Agustin Morales IIII and Adrian Francisco.