Nad Al Sheba Shooting: Miles and Smith occupy top spots on Day One

Action from day one. (Supplied)

Gebben Miles shot himself into sole leadership, while Nad Al Sheba Shooting Team’s youngster Marwan Alama impressed at the end of the opening day of the 2nd Nad Al Sheba Shooting Competition at the Nad Al Sheba shooting range, on Wednesday.

Miles, who won the title last year, seemed to be best equipped to handle the quick-shifting desert conditions as he shot a first day’s total of 48 from a maximum 50.

He was chased down by Great Britain’s Darren Coumbe and UAE-based Marwan Alama with identical scores of 46, while three shooters from Great Britain threatened to overtake them with scores of 45. They were Paul Thomas, Brett Winstanley and James Attwood.

The women’s competition also had a leader from USA with Carolyn Smith at the top with a total of 45, chased down by Swedish girl Anna Jarnald one shot off the pace.

Great Britain’s Janine Preece was in third with 41, while team-mate Natasha Blockwell was tied level in fourth with American Deborah Lee Davis on 38s.

Some of the top shooters from across the world are competing in this annual competition that is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council. There is more than $1 million in cash is on offer in various categories for the shooters.

The United Kingdom has the biggest contingent of shooters with more than 250 making the trip here, followed by the USA that has 90 shooters who are here already and another 71 from Russia.

Among the big names are Great Britain’s George Digweed, James Murphy, Adrian Pope, James Attwood and Jonathan Ward, along with American champions Anthony Matarese, Robert Kidd, Will Fennell and the duo of Melinda Earle and Michelle Miles from the women’s team.

At the top of the competition will be the ones for the elite field of shooters that will include 75 athletes in the men’s and 40 in the women’s.

The top 25 finishers in the men’s section will split a cash purse of $675,000 with the champion receiving $200,000, followed by $100,000 for second and $50,000 for third respectively.

All 40 invitees from the women’s competition will receive cash awards with the winner taking home $50,000 followed by $25,000 and $25,000 for the next two finishers.

Last year, it was the shooters from the USA that dominated with Gebben Miles and Anthony Matarese claiming gold and bronze in the elite field, as Spain’s Jose Manuel Rodriguez pushed himself in-between the Americans to take second place.

The women’s competition too was keenly contested with Beatriz Laparra Cuenca of Spain being crowned champion leaving American Desirae Edmunds for second and Italian Martina Maruzzo in third.

Meanwhile, the general public has been invited to attend the competition at the Nad Al Sheba shooting range that is located past the Dubai Silicon Oasis road.

There will be four cars raffled off during the competition. There will be several other competitions and contests on the sidelines of the championships including a paintball shooting arena.

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