Shooting preview 28 July
27 July 2002
Seven gold medals will be decided at the National Shooting Centre on Sunday during the busiest day for the shooting competitions.
On the clay ranges, the olympic double trap pairs events take place for men and women. Similar to individual trap, two clay targets are launched simultaneously from a trench 15 metres in front of the shooter, and competitors have one shot at each.
In the men’s competition, the stage is set for a classic Ashes confrontation. Australia’s jewel in the crown, Michael Diamond, teams up with Mark Russell for a high-level clash with olympic double trap gold medallist Richard Faulds (ENG), and John Bellamy (ENG), the 1998 team captain.
Although not Diamond’s favoured event – he is the dominant figure in trap, at which he won the pairs’ gold medal on Saturday with Adam Vella (AUS) – he is hoping to improve on his Commonwealth Games silver at Kuala Lumpur, though Faulds’ new British record here a fortnight ago shows he is on song.
Fifteen-year-old Charlotte Kerwood, England, making her team debut as the youngest shooter in the Commonwealth Games, unites with former British students’ champion Helen Slack (ENG), to challenge for the hosts.
The combined 48 years’ experience of Canadian duo Cynthia Meyer, Canada and Susan Nattras, Canada will be tough to overcome, as will the combination of Suzanne Balogh and Suzie Trindall, Australia.
Balogh took gold in the Korean World Cup last year and also won the gold for trap and double trap events at the Commonwealth Federation preliminary held at Bisley last year.
Frank Wyatt (ENG), and the newly-crowned 10m air pistol pairs champion Michael Gault, England defend their 50m free pistol pairs title.
In this discipline, competitors fire at one target – a traditional bulls-eye with surrounding rings, using a .22 calibre pistol. Values range from 10 for a hit in the 5cm bull to one for the outer ring – and a total 60 shots make for a maximum 600 points.
Pistol shooter Gault is the most successful English shooter in Commonwealth Games history with a total of six gold medals – one from his visit to Victoria (1994), four at Kuala Lumpur (1998) and one from the first day’s air pistol event at Bisley on Saturday 26 July.
His partner Wyatt is a veteran of the Munich Olympic Games in 1972. This duo will be up against Greg Yelavich, New Zealand his country’s most successful marksman with 10 medals since the Edinburgh 1986 Commonwealth Games.
He partners Alan Earle (NZ), who took home silver from the rapid fire pistol event in 1998.
In the ladies’ air rifle pairs, Louise Minett, England has been shooting to a consistently high standard and may well improve on her 1998 bronze, although her Kuala Lumpur team-mate Rebecca Spicer, England will be participating in the .22 three-position rifle rather than air gun, her place taken by Victoria Eaton, England.
Sharon Bowes, Canada competes alongside Jacklyn Mecredy, Canada who was yet to be born when Bowes shot in the Olympic Games at Los Angeles in 1984.
Their air pistol counterparts also shoot today, with Anne-Marie Forder, Australia bidding to retain her pairs title won in Kuala Lumpur (1998), partnered by Russian-born Lalita Yauhleuskaya. Just 24 years of age, Forder took bronze at the Sydney Olympics in the individual event.
Helen Preston, England and Kathryn Pearson, England have been shooting well in practice. Kuala Lumpur medallist Kimberley Eagles, Canada is linked with 23-year-old Dorothy Hare, Canada who just missed out on a medal in 1998.
Hare is coached by her father William, who competed in the Olympic Games for Canada three times.
The first shots on the Lord Roberts Centre’s new 50m range start on Sunday, with the 50m men’s rifle prone pairs event taking place in the newly-built Centre.
The partnership of world champion Stephen Petterson, New Zealand and Sean McCabe, New Zealand looks strong, after first and third in the badge matches this week.
England’s Mike Babb will also be brimming over with confidence after booking his place at the Athens Olympic Games with a stunning performance in Milan last month.
His partner Neil Day, England has also shot well this week, taking runner-up in the individual badge event.
Just a few hundred yards from the 50m indoor range is the impressive Stickledown range, on which the final stage of the open full bore rifle takes place at distances of 900 and 1,000 yards.
Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Calvert, Northern Ireland will be a strong prospect, although David Dodds (RSA), a glamour photographer by profession, is yet to reveal his potential.
He teams up with Peter Bramley (RSA), whose grandfather was a leading South African international rifle shot. Also hungry for success in this mixed event is Alice Ogilvie, Scotland who partners Ian Shaw, Scotland the 1997 Scottish full bore champion.
Info News Service/ws/bn