Guam – While the Guam Shooting Federation recently competed in the East Asian Games in Tianjin, China, placing last, another shooting club, which has been around since the 1970s, say they feel snubbed by the Guam National Olympic Committee.
Guam Shooting Sports Federation President Robert Kutz, in an interview with PNC, says the newly formed shooting club, to his knowledge, was specifically formed to be able to compete on an Olympic level.
While Kutz takes no issue with that, the Guam International Shooting Sports Federation or GISSF, he says, was formed without any kind of consultation with his organization, GSSF.
Kutz explains that GSSF has been around since 1978. They have competed in various international competitions around the world, including the Philippines, where they’ve taken the top prize two years in a row, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand, the US and in France.
Their top five shooters, he adds, have over 100 years of shooting experience among them. He applauds GISSF for competing in the East Asian Games, but he believes the method of selecting Guam talent was unfair.
“Our people have got a lot of experience and I don’t believe that our competitors in East Asia really do. And they did their very best,” says Kutz.
“Would we have done better? I don’t know.”
“But you don’t believe Guam had the best representation in this case?” we asked.
“That’s the point. That’s why I’m here. I belive that there should’ve been an opportunity for all of the Guam shooters to try out for this team just as they do for any other Olympic level sport from Guam,” he points out.
Emphasizing the disparity in selecting shooters, Kutz says it was indicated that the competitors may have been chosen because of their gear rather than their skill and experience.
“A very expensive pistol will not make you an expert shooter anymore than buying a $100,000 Porsche will make you a race car driver,” he argues. “Regardless of the tools that you use, all shooting disciplines are essentially the same. The bullet goes where the gun is pointed when the trigger is pulled. And in order to be able to do that consistently, it takes a lot of experience, considerable talent and the ability to do it under high level competitive pressure. Our shooters have had that.”
PNC tried to get comment from the GNOC, but most of the representatives are currently off-island competing in the East Asian Games.