May 27th, 2009

Spaniard Wins 2009 European Steel Challenge

European 2009 Steel ChallengeJorge Ballesteros of Spain captured the coveted Steel Challenge title at the 2009 European Speed Shooting Championships held May 22 and 23 in Winterswijk, Netherlands. Facing Europe’s best shooters, Ballesteros won the Open Pistol title with a time of 61.31 seconds, besting last year’s top time by over two and a half seconds. Jan ter Borg of the Netherlands finished second while Germany’s Oliver Damm placed third for the second year in a row. Defending 2008 champion Saul Kirsch of the Netherlands finished fourth.

The European Steel Challenge drew 135 top speed shooters from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and the United States, all vying for their share of $40,000 in cash and prizes and the title of Europe’s Fastest Gun. The match was shot indoors and featured six of the eight stages used in the USA Steel Challenge: Smoke & Hope, Five to Go, Roundabout, Speed Option, Accelerator and Outer Limits.

“The European Steel Challenge is growing in popularity thanks to the hard work of match director Hans Wigger and, with so many strong competitors, it’s only a matter of time before we see a squad of top Europeans competing at the World Speed Shooting Championships here in the U.S.,” said Dave Thomas, executive director of the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA).

Fierce Competition Among Wheel-Gunners
In the Open Revolver division, shooters from the Netherlands ran the table with Mario Siemeling leading the way and defending his 2008 win by posting a time of 68.99. Harry ter Borg, who finished third in 2008, moved up to second shooting a time of 77.00 seconds. In third, with a time of 78.35, was Jan ter Borg. Below is a video from the 2008 ESC showing Harry ter Borg, Mario Siemeling (at 4:00 minute mark) and other wheel-gunners in action.

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