Whether skeet shooter Brian Rosario is ready for the London Olympics will be tested when he leads the 21-man Philippine shooting team to the Southeast Asian Shooting Championships which start Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
According to Philippine National Shooting Association (PNSA) president Mikee Romero, Rosario has been training rigorously since last year but his readiness for the quadrennial event will be gauged when he competes against the region’s best in the week-long tournament.
“The tournament is going to be Rosario’s barometer, this is a good tournament for him,” said Romero. “Whether he’s peaking at the right time, we will know after the tournament.”
Romero expects the country’s wild card entry to figure prominently in the London Games after an impressive showing in the World Cup last October in Serbia where he shot 120.
His feat was just one point shy of the gold medal-winning effort of American top shooter Vincent Hancock in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Rosario’s awe-inspiring stint in Serbia came after he shot a respectable 118 in the 2011 Sydney World Cup series last April that bettered the minimum qualifying score of 114.
“He is shooting at a world-class level. It’s been a long-time since a Filipino shooter has reached this level,” said Romero. “But his event is very tough because they have to shoot for three days.”
Aside from Rosario, also taking part in the shooting tilt are last year’s silver medalist Jayson Valdez and bronze medalist Inna Therese Gutierrez, according to PNSA secretary-general Danilo Gamboa.
Also on the team are veteran rifle shooter Emerito Concepcion, Patricio Bernardo, Gabriel Tong, Eric Ang, Hagen Topacio, Anson Pena Sy, Miguel Laperal, Ylvana Dy, Monica Yang, Joelle Panganiban, Frances Nicole Medina, Amparo Acuna, Celdon Jude Arellano, Dianne Nicole Eufemio, Shanin Lyn Gonzalez, Ma. Isabel Fernandez, Venus Lovelyn Tan, and Mark Manosca.
The Philippine Sports Commission, chaired by Richie Garcia, and Harbour Centre are backing the country’s participation in the event.
Romero and PNSA executive director Larry Paredes will also be joining the shooters in Kuala Lumpur.
» Top shots set new records in national shooting tilt
» Olympic Shooting: Filipino Rosario ends campaign, finishes tied for 30th
» Olympic Shooting: Pinoy bet Rosario scores perfect round, but still near bottom