Kahlil Adrian Viray made the Philippines proud as he captured three gold medals at the 2022 International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Handgun World Championships which concluded last Saturday in Pattaya, Thailand.
Viray, the only Filipino and Asian member of the prestigious CZ Shooting Team, successfully defended the Junior title and ruled the Individual Overall in the Standard division. His third gold medal came from the team event with compatriots Rolly Nathaniel Tecson, Gerard Loy and Joseph Bernabe Jr.
Kahlil’s 17-year-old twin brothers, Akeem Adrian and Kareem Adrian, finished third and fifth place, respectively, in the Standard Junior. The tournament was their first international competition.
“Winning is beating your personal best. You need to work for it just as you desire it. You need to challenge yourself each time to become the best in what you do,” said the 20-year-old Kahlil in an interview on Thursday.
“I believe that God has helped me every time. He helped me reach my goal of becoming a world champion. He has given me the desire, the skills, the family to support me and people around who believed in me. I would not be here if not for all of them,” said Kahlil, who claimed the Standard Junior title and finished seventh in the Standard Individual Overall when the tournament was hosted by France five years ago.
“I would also say that hindrances have made me more determined to reach my goals. I would always think of the sacrifices of my parents and brothers for me to continue with the sport. Shooting is an expensive sport. I would do my best to win with what I have because winning will make it easier for you to get sponsors who can help you go further with your career,” shared Kahlil, who is supported by CZ firearms-Česká zbrojovka, Double Alpha Academy, CZ Flagship Store Philippines and Stone of David Corporation.
“As the only Filipino and Asian member of the prestigious CZ Shooting Team, I am honored to represent my country and race. It is the home of great IPSC shooters and nine-time IPSC world champion Eric Grauffel,” he said.
Grauffel of France won the gold medal and German Romitelli of Argentina took the silver medal in the Production Individual Overall category while Ljubisa Momcilovic of Serbia topped the Production Senior category. Both Romitelli and Momcilovic are CZ international team members.
While he prepared hard for the competition, Kahlil said he did not expect to win. “It could have been any of my close opponents. The competition is not over till it’s over. You could be leading, but have a bad turn in your last few stages or even be disqualified for breaking safety rules.”
“In my event, my strongest opponents are Tecson and Nils Jonasson, a decorated US champion and an IPSC world champion in (the) Standard division in 2014,” he said.
Khalil was the Standard Individual Overall winner at the Extreme Euro Open in Czech Republic last June. He also claimed the gold medal in the Standard Individual Overall and the silver medal in the Production Optics Individual Overall at the Championnat de France in September.
When asked to comment on the tournament, Kahlil replied: “The 19th World Shoot was a successfully organized tournament with dynamic stages and targets we have never encountered before”.
Aside from Khalil, the other medalists from the Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) delegation were Jeufro Emil Lejano (Classic Overall), Jethro Dionisio (Classic Senior), Jerome Jovanne Morales (Production Optics Senior) and Aeron Jhon Lanuza (Production Junior), gold; Marly Martir (Classic Lady), Johann Abanilla (Production Optics Light Senior), Rolly Nathaniel Tecson (Standard Overall and Standard Junior) and Edcel John Gino (Open Overall), silver; and Alfredo Catalan Jr. (Classic Overall), Alex Lao (Classic Super Senior), James Quing (Classic Senior), Lydia Cuyong (Production Optics Light Lady), Aeron Jhon Lanuza (Production Overall), Robert Po (Standard Super Senior), Luisito Miguel de Guzman (Open Super Junior) and Jessica Tampoco (Open Lady), bronze.
In the team competition, the Philippines topped the Classic Overall (Jeufro Emil Lejano, Alfredo Catalan Jr., Lenard Lopez and Edrick Eliseo Chan) and the Standard Super Senior (Robert Po, Israelito Pible, Jose Maochi Suela and Isagani Buenaflor), and finished second in the Classic Senior (James Quing, Gilbert Go, Jesus Andres Soriano and Alex Lao), Production Overall (Aeron Jhon Lanuza, Paul Bryant Yu, Jon Gotamco and Willard Carrera), Production Lady (Evelyn Woods, Rizza Vidallon, Maria Joahna Catalan and Crystalene Gonzales) and Open Overall (Edcel John Gino, Nino Roberto Leviste, Keo Dayle Tuan and Enrico Papa).
It placed third in the Production Optics Light Overall (Paulo Paulino, Roy Harold Malunda, Johann Abanilla and Ronald Astillero), Production Senior (Anthony Sy, Amel Ariate and Rodolfo Cua Jr.) and Open Lady (Jessica Tampoco, Andrea Bernos, Erin Mattea Micor and Janice Navato).
A total of 1,345 shooters from 73 countries joined the 19th edition of the IPSC World Shoot which was held from Nov. 16 to Dec. 3 at the Thailand Practical Shooting Association (THPSA) range.
For the first time, the Production Optics division was included in the program. (PNA)