Shooting for gold this time

With the Island Games quickly approaching, the Cayman Islands Sport Shooting Association will be sending its veteran team to once again represent and hopefully bring back more medals.

The NatWest Island Games run from June 27-July 4 in Aland, near Finland and around 90 Cayman athletes will compete.

The four-man shooting team consists of Kevin Schirn, Christopher Jackson, Rob Harris and Eddie McLean and they will all vie for medals in the clay target shooting events.

Having their most successful Island Games in 2007, where team-mates McLean and Harris captured silver in the Olympic skeet team event. Harris also got bronze in the individual Olympic skeet event.

For Schirn this will be his fourth Island Games (2001, 03, 07 and 09). He will be competing in the Olympic trench trap as well as the sporting clays both in the team and individual events.

Schirn narrowly missed out on his first Island Games medal in 2007, when he placed fifth in the sporting clays event, just four targets short of the bronze medal.

Christopher Jackson is also competing in his fourth Islands Games since 2001. He is in the trench trap team and individual.

Jackson is the most seasoned veteran in the Olympic trap event in the Cayman Islands, having competed in the Commonwealth games twice (2002, 06), the Pan American Games (2007) and the World Cup of Shotgun in the Dominican Republic, where he narrowly missed his qualifying score for the past Beijing Olympics.

Harris is about to compete in his fifth Island Games. He is competing in the team and individual in the Olympic skeet and sporting clays.

Harris was the first shooter from the Cayman Islands to win a medal in the clay target event when he claimed bronze in the individual skeet event in 2003.

After repeating this feat in 2007, his Island Games medal count now stands at three.

Harris said: ‘With this being the last time that I will personally compete in the Island Games, I hope to finish with a bang.

‘It’s been a great experience and I’ve made numerous friends from the other Islands. The camaraderie is exceptional and I’ve always relished wearing the Cayman Islands stencilled on our equipment and apparel, it has been a great source of personal and national pride.’

McLean is competing in his fifth Island Games (1999, 2001, 03, 07, 09) too in team and individual Olympic skeet and sporting clays.

McLean gained his first medal in 2007, when paired with Harris; they claimed the silver in the team Olympic skeet event.

Being the longest serving member of the Cayman shooting team, McLean has been the focal point on numerous events, and this remains the same for this one.

He said: ‘We are not going there to defend the silver or bronze, we are there for the gold. We used to go to these events as relative unknowns, now, they see us as a threat to any event we enter, whether it be Chris in trap, me and Rob in skeet, or Kevin in sporting….They will have their hands full with us, I guarantee it.’