Official: Our Tony Mann Second Best Shooter in England

Each year, the top two shooters in each region of the EPA compete in the shooting championship at the annual Champion of Champions Championships which were held at Oxshott last weekend. As Sussex 1 representative, Tony (who is also the EPA National Secretary) completed the exercises* on  Saturday, along with nineteen others over the weekend.

As a club and as part of Sussex Pétanque, we are proud to report that Tony came a brilliant second, only two points behind the winner, Sofiane Lachani (27 points) who has represented England in the World Championship. (Our previous club success in this championship was in 2011 when Stephan Alfred, with 27 points, came fifth.)

Hearty congratulations to Tony on his fine achievement.

The full results are on <http://www.englishpetanque.org.uk/results/CofCShootResults2014.pdf

*Conforming to international rules, the shooting competition consists of five disciplines – single boule, boule behind the jack, middle boule of three, boule behind boule, and jack – at four distances (6, 7, 8, 9m). It’s a really testing format. You can see some of today’s great players – Rocher, Rizzi, Webel, Quintais et al – in action on YouTube.

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One Response to Official: Our Tony Mann Second Best Shooter in England

  1. Tony Mann says:

    Hmmmm I think our website editor is suffering from some tabloid style sensationalist headline writing here……….

    It was a surprise for me to win the Sussex Shooting Championships this year having failed so miserably in 2 previous attempts. To then represent Sussex at the EPA Champion of Champions for Shooting along with other Region’s shooting champions and runners-up was quite daunting.

    As the National Secretary for the EPA I am high profile as an individual and have had to prove myself to be a reasonable player to the many better, established and elite players in England. The pressure I felt on the day and in the lead up to the event was enormous as there is no place to hide and the fear of letting Sussex down and making a fool of myself weighed heavy and there were many waiting for me to fail.

    However I have been practicing my shooting at times throughout the season down on our terrain, often on a Wednesday evening along with Gareth. I have also been working on techniques to control my nerves and stay focused and implemented these successfully on the day. Other players and spectators there had no idea how nervous I was so I guess my techniques worked for me and fooled those watching.

    My target for the day was simply to get into double figures and not make a fool of myself. A target I hoped would be achievable. I was the 2nd person to attempt the Shooting with a top Southern player having gone before me getting 23 in total. My first 2 attempts at 6.5 and 7.5 meters shooting a single boule narrowly missed but where previously doubt and dread would kick in I employed my techniques and remained calm and focused and shot the boule with my attempts at 8.5 and 9.5 meters.

    Having got off the dreaded zero score I felt more relaxed and concentrated on each single task using my preparation techniques each time. I had reached a score of 20 by the time I started the last discipline of shooting the jack. My attempts at 6.5 and 7.5 meters were narrow misses just skimming over the top of the jack both times and both times as soon as I released I visualised and felt I was going to hit the jack. My attempt at 8.5 meters did not feel so good on release but amazingly hit the jack taking me to 25.

    So briefly I was top until one of the best shooters in England, Sofiane Lachani, who has represented England at the World Championships performing in front of hundreds of spectators in a packed stadium beat my score with 27.

    My feeling after finishing the shooting was one of huge relief and also pleasure at improving upon the score I achieved to become the Sussex Shooting Champion. I did not think for one moment that the scores by Sofiane and me would not be beaten over the course of the weekend.

    So am I the 2nd best shooter in England? Of course not! I came 2nd in a closed competition for Regional Shooting Champions and Runners-Up only and am pleased that I did Sussex proud.

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