Namibian duo shoots to top of the world 

Francois Marais retained his World Hunting Rifle Shooting Championships title on home soil. Photo: FB

Carola Marais joined Francois Marais Jr in becoming a world champion, following their sterling performance at the recent World Hunting Rifle Shooting Championships at Otjiwa Lodge, south of Otjiwarongo.

Carola was crowned the .222/.223 women’s champion, with Francois retaining his title as overall world champion at the Namibian Hunting Rifle Shooting Association (NHRSA)-hosted competition.

The event featured professional shooters from Sweden, South Africa, the Czech Republic and Namibia.

Speaking to The Namibian shortly after his title defence, Francois said it was tough, and that the experience has not really sunk in yet.

“I am really thankful for where I am. The last six days was tough. The wind made it difficult, making the shooting conditions extremely difficult, and this is what made these championships a challenge,” he said.

Francois commended his shots for their sportsmanship and said it was a pleasure to share the shooting ranges with them.

Namibia was represented in several team categories, including the men’s national and presidents’ team, the .222/.223 men’s national team and presidents’ team, the women’s team and the junior team.

“The open class competition was particularly intense. South Africa led the first two rounds, demonstrating exceptional skill and strategy,” the NHRSA said in statement.

“However, Namibia fought back fiercely, winning the third round convincingly. In a nail-biting final day, Namibia narrowly edged out South Africa by 39 points, clinching the tournament with a team score of 12 260 points.”

The event’ s smooth organisation and shooting range facilities impressed the visiting competitors.

“It was a great experience for us to come here (to Namibia) and be part of this world. From our European point of view it is just something unbelievable, as we do not have the facilities or space to shoot in such an open area,” Czech team member Mikulas Bilik said.

“Shooting over 36 ranges on one piece of land is mind-boggling. It is an amazing and interesting experience.”

The ranges were prepared by WP Barnard from Otjiwa Lodge.

The next national event is slated for 19 and 20 July at Stampriet, while the next world championships are slated for 2026 in South Africa.

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