POTHORAM THAILAND JANUARY 2020 – Tony Blignaut

In December 2019 I was beside myself as my application for a Temporary Export Permit, to take my competition Zoli shotgun to Thailand to compete in the 2020 Asian Championships was not issued in time.

This was a big deal, I applied 3 months earlier, and hounded SAPS every day, and they finally issued it the day after the close-off for gun permits in Thailand.

I called my dear friend Khun Mai Bannag, a seriously competitive shooter in Thailand, and the Chairman of Thailand Clay target Shooting. He offered to share his gun with me in the FITASC section of the double championships, this is allowed in FITASC, I was very relieved and grateful.

The gun was a Zoli similar to mine own, a beautiful gun, but Khun Mai and I have totally different faces, and the gun did not fit me at all. But I persevered, Khun Mai who was in my squad would shoot, then pass me the Zoli and I would shoot when my turn came. I was so frustrated seeing targets get away that I would normally have smashed. I said to myself, “Snap out of it” you’re here in Thailand with a gun in an International do your best with what you have. Well my best was 5 th Veteran with Khun Mai taking gold using the same gun.

Two days later was the main event, the 4 th Asian Championship Compak Sporting with a strong international presence. In Compak you are not permitted to share a gun, Khun Mai asked me if I would like to use the Zoli, or his Perazzi? There was nothing to consider, I elected to use the Zoli if I was permitted to change the stock setting so the Zoli would fit me, Khun Mai agreed, luckily, even though I was not permitted to bring my Zoli to Thailand, I did pack the Zoli tool kit with, and got straight to work on the stock adjustments.

Entering the final day of the Asian Championships I had a slender one-shot lead, however I managed to shoot really well throughout the day to take Veteran gold by seven shots.

I am looking forward to defending the tile of Veteran Asian Compak Champion in 2021