Teenage shooting star James Dedman has told how he was detained on the way to the sport’s world championships – accused of being a whale-hunter.

James, 15, flew into Lima Airport in Peru with his coach, London Olympics gold medallist Peter Wilson.

But instead of being ushered through customs, James and Peter were held for four hours and had their guns impounded.

James, of Upper Hopton, Mirfield, who has his sights set on Olympic glory in Rio in 2016, said everything was fine at the airport until they reached customs.

“We had collected the bags and the customs officers opened them and were very interested in the special grips we have.

“They looked at the guns and said we must be illegal whale-hunters.

“Peter thought it was a joke at first but then tried to persuade them we were genuine.”

The guns were seized and eventually James and Peter were allowed to go to their hotel.

The guns were only released days later.

Rumour of what had happened turned into an “arrest” and mum Julie and dad Simon were alerted by a telephone call from a friend.

A frantic Julie rang James who joked: “I’m all right, mum. Peter’s in prison but they had to release me because I’m a minor!”

James Dedman
James Dedman
 

After four hours James and Peter were allowed to go as it was pointed out to the unabashed customs officer that his country was hosting the ISSF Shotgun World Championships.

Around 600 competitors from 70 countries were taking part.

James said: “The French shooting team were on our flight and the Australians also arrived.

“There were 15 of us and we said we can’t all be whale-hunters!”

James shrugged off the airport drama to produce his best-ever performance.

Though still a junior, James beat all the GB senior men, setting a new British junior record.

One of the youngest competitors, he came fourth in the double-trap junior category, narrowly missing out on a medal.

James shot a 27, 29, 23, 22, 28 with just four missed clays between first place and fourth.

At one stage James was second but a mid-competition “wobble” cost him.

Even so the score was enough to secure a place in the GB team for the Youth Olympics in China next August.

Julie said she was proud of James and added: “To go through what he had and then turn in a personal best and become UK No1 and No4 in the world is fantastic.

“Because he started so well his nerves got the better of him and he shot two weaker rounds in the middle but he picked it up again at the end.

“This was his first major championships and it’s all about experience for him now.

“It’s all systems go for Rio.”

James’s record total was 129 out of 150. He missed a bronze medal by one shot.

“I was a bit disappointed but Peter was thrilled to bits, running around like a madman,” said James.

Just four months ago James approached Wilson and asked him to coach him to Olympic glory.

Wilson did the same to top marksman Hasher Al Maktoum, a member of the Royal family of Dubai, who became his coach and helped him to win gold last year.