England's shooters have enjoyed astonishing success at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with no fewer than 22c gold, silver and bronze medals in their haul.
Building on Peter Wilson’s success in the Men’s Double Trap at the London 2012 Olympics, the Home Nations’ shooters brought home the medals in the shooting events at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which took place at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre on the east coast of Scotland.
Among a host of extraordinary performances at the shooting events held at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, veteran England pistol shooter Mick Gault’s efforts stood out. He won his 18th Commonwealth Games medal (bronze in the 10m air pistol) at this year’s event. In winning the medal, the 63-year-old grandfather from Norfolk became one of the two most successful Commonwealth Games medalists ever — sharing the title with Australian shooter Phillip Adam. “It didn’t matter what colour it was,” said Mr Gault after the event, “I’ve got the 18 medals now. That’s exactly what the aim was, so it’s job done. It’s a weight off my shoulders.” Similarly, 23-year-old rifle shooter, Jen McIntosh, from Scotland, became the country’s most decorated female in Commonwealth Games history, taking silver and bronze in the 50m rifle disciplines. The achievement meant she succeeded to the title from her mother, Shirley, also an international shooter.
The first Gold medal in shooting to be won at the Games was by David Luckman and Parag Patel in the Queen’s Prize Pairs on the first day of competition. The Queen’s Prize competition usually takes place at Bisley, however this year was hosted as part of the Commonwealth Games. Scotland’s Angus MacLeod and Ian Shaw collected the Bronze. David Luckman took a second gold in the individual Queen’s Prize competition, becoming the most successful shooter at this year’s Games.
In Double Trap, the Home Nations’ dominance was evident, with four of the six medals in the discipline going to British shooters. Steven Scott and Charlotte Kerwood (who won her first gold medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 aged just 15) have both won gold medals in their disciplines — Mens’ and the Womens’ Double Trap. England’s Matthew French took silver in the Men’s Double Trap with a score of 29 in the final, just beaten by Scott’s 30. The Womens’ Double Trap bronze was taken by Rachel Parish.
The Mens’ semi-final ended in a dramatic shoot-off between Scott, French and India’s Asab Mohb to decide the competing pair for the final. Scott said “It was probably the most passionate shoot-off I’ve ever been involved in” after he and fellow England shot French competed against each other for a chance to win the gold medal. He admitted; “If I ever wanted anyone to beat me it would be Matthew” but said that in the end they both “pushed each other along to gold and silver.” After winning gold in the first of her two disciplines, Charlotte Kerwood commented: “The Commonwealth Games obviously likes me, it’s a good event to come to.”
Elsewhere in the shooting, the Mens’ Skeet was dominated by Scotland’s Drew Christie who took the silver, and England’s Rory Warlow who took the bronze. The gold was taken by Cyrpus’s Georgios Achilleos. In the Womens’ final Elena Allen from Wales won the silver medal.
The final of the Men’s 50m Rifle three-position discipline showed the strength British Shooting has at an international level. Out of the eight finalists, four were from the Home Nations, with Scotland’s Jonathan Hammond and Neil Stirton up against England’s Dan Rivers and Kenny Parr, giving British Shooting a superb chance of a medal in the penultimate event held at Carnoustie. Having maintained a lead for most of the event, Dan Rivers left with the gold medal. Despite the fact that he is only allowed to train legally at one shooting range in the whole of the UK, England’s Kristian Callaghan took one of the final shooting medals of the games when he came third in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event.
In the 10m Air Rifle, bronze went to Daniel Rivers from England, bronze also went to his team-mate Kenneth Parr in the 50m Rifle Prone, while Michael Gault OBE took bronze in the 10m Air Pistol.
In the 50m Rifle Prone Men’s Final Kenneth Parr took bronze and in the Women’s Jen McIntosh also took bronze.
In the Women’s Single Trap Final England’s Caroline Povey took bronze, leaving Australia’s Laetisha Scanlan and Cyprus’s Georgia Konstantinidou to compete for gold. The Men’s Final ended with England’s Aaron Heading taking silver and Australia’s Adam Vella winning the gold medal.
England came Second overall in the shooting disciplines, with a total of 15 medals including 5 gold, 2 silver and 8 bronze. Australia came First with an overall total of 8 medals, including 6 gold and 2 bronze.
A petition to allow the legitimate ownership of .22 rimfire sporting pistols is currently open for signatures at po.st/pistolpetition. Nearly 17,000 had supported this vital initiative to ensure our international competitors can train on an equal footing with other nations.