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16. 08. 16
posted by: Johan
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The small town of Bisley in England is the traditional birth place of target shooting. The SAARA team that took part in the annual British Junior International (BJI) event at the Lord Roberts shooting centre in Bisley returned with loads of medals on 14 August 2016 after a very successful tour to the UK where many new friends were made and bridges were built.

The team consisted of Lyjani Schonken (precision ladies), Dewald Olivier (Precision men), Caitlin Oelofse (Sporter Ladies) Louis Coetzer, HJ van Staden, Jaco Fourie and Werner Ackerman (Sporter men). The team was accompanied by Daleen van Staden (the team manager) and Johan Oelofse (the coach).

The team left from OR Tambo of 5 August and arrived in London early on Saturday morning. After some sightseeing and getting used to the weather the team reported to the range on Monday 8 August for the admin, equipment control and pre-event training.

Shooting started on 9 August with the Sporter 3P event where all 5 SAARA athletes made the finals and SA took all the medals (Werner Ackerman – Gold, Louis Coetzer – Silver and HJ van Staden – Bronze). The SA team (Werner, Caitlin Oelofse and HJ) took Gold in the team event. In the 3P precision event Lyjani Schonken wins Gold and Dewald Olivier Bronze.

On the second day of shooting Lyjani Schonken scores a new South African junior record score of 410.5 during the 10m Olympic ladies qualification round and wins Gold in the finals event. Well done Lyjani. The sporter athletes shoot the Grand Prix mixed event where Werner wins Gold, Louis Silver and HJ Bronze.

On the third competition day of the competition, the main event for the sporter athletes took place, where they competed in the 10m mixed event. All 5 the South African athletes made it to the finals, where Louis walked away with Gold and Werner with Bronze. The SAARA team (Louis, Werner and Caitlin) wins Gold in the team event. Dewald also wins Bronze in the 10m Precision Grand Prix event.

The SAARA team is honoured with a special medallion of appreciation for our good sportsmanship and support.

Now it was time to explore London and see as many landmarks as possible in the little time available before checking in and flying back to South Africa.

Very well done to the team and management for making us proud.

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