Kenyan shooters braved demanding conditions to grab top accolades at the International Defensive Pistol Association Africa Championships held at the JMPD Roodepoort Range in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Former expert engineer Robert Nyamongo grabbed the headlines on the continent after he schooled top sharpshooters in Africa to win the championships, and scale the ranks to become an IDPA Master.
With the promotion, Nyamongo becomes the first ever Master marksman in Kenya. He paraded his skills honed over the years and his proficiency coupled with precision and speed earned him the continental title and a Masters rank.
Shooting over 400 rounds in 16 stages, Nyamongo warded off strong competition from a huge field of over 300 shooters and downed 336.35 points to win the coveted trophy in the bi-annual championships. Engineer Nyamongo is among the three Experts to be promoted to Master class and the only Kenyan to move up the IDPA ladder.
The National Gun Owners Association of Kenya (NGAO-K) fielded 10 firers, six drawn from licensed civilian firearm holders and four from the disciplined forces. They include Nyamongo, Mohamed Omar (354.91), Alex Migwi (579.40), Alamin Wanyonyi (471.07), Stanlus Masha (618.72), Daniel Mutiso (440.47), Elizabeth Wachianga (754.78), Gikonyo Mwangi (588.90) and Sharp-Shooter Sammy Onyango (447.91). SS James Thuo was among the ten disqualified shooters in the competitions.
IDPA membership and matches are open to all people who legally own a handgun, regardless of occupation, race, gender or religion. IDPA members come from all walks of life and represent all skill levels within the shooting sports.
Expert Omar settled for overall third position behind South African Expert Shaun Hevanga, who carded 347.38 to stop Kenyans from grabbing the top three podium places. The 16 stages of pistol shooting depicted positions that simulate self-defense in real life encounters.
Team captain Alex Migwi hailed the team for the good show in Johannesburg and encourage more firers to venture in competitions beyond Kenya.
“These amazing results are a culmination of many months (and years for some) of dedicated training at prohibitive costs due to the high costs of weapons and ammunition in the country. And I must congratulate my teammates for the great feat,” noted Migwi.
Lauding Nyamongo for becoming the first Kenyan ever to be ranked Master, Migwi said: “Nyamongo deserved it. The man has put in a lot of resources over years and I must congratulate him for this major achievement, we (NGAO-K) are proud of him.”
Apart from the two podium finishers, Sharp Shooter Sammy Onyango was won a trophy on offer for his category.