A teenage Olympic shooting hopeful was held in an airport in Peru after officials accused him of being a whale-hunter.
James Dedman, 15, from Upper Hopton, was on his way to the ISSF Shooting World Championships in Lima last month. But he and coach Peter Wilson were stopped when officials at Lima Airport became suspicious after inspecting his gun case.
“They were yelling something at us in Spanish,” said James. “I don’t speak much Spanish, so I was surprised when our translator told us: ‘they think you’re whale-hunters’!
“At first we thought they were joking, but they seized guns from the French and Australian teams too – we said ‘look, we can’t all be whale-hunters!’”
After being held for four hours James had his guns impounded, and it wasn’t until four days before the event that officials gave them back.
Despite the setback, the Silcoates School student managed to come an impressive fourth place in the youth category of the championships, missing out on bronze by just one shot.
James said: “Having the guns seized certainly didn’t help with preparations!
“But if you had told me before the competition that I would come fourth, I would have been really pleased.”
James said he now has his sights set on making Team GB for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.