DORIAN FALCONER GIVES US A COMPETITOR’S PERSPECTIVE
DAY 1 YELLOW COURSE ‘My first target is a 25mm stander at 18 yards, with target two a full-size, 40mm kill zone at 25 yards. ‘Dink!’ First miss and the devils of doubt were straight in my ear – ‘told you not to shoot! What are you doing? You don’t deserve to be here! With three targets down in the first 10, this is already disaster. All that work, all that practice, all the conversations with my missus explaining why I really need to go shooting … wasted. The old adage, ‘you can’t win it on the first day - but you can definitely lose it’, went through my mind. Come on Doz; think of the team and just hit the targets. As the wind picked up and the rain came down, I looked along the line, the other competitors’ heads were down, and suddenly my cross hairs were still. Some shots were landing 60mm out of the kill at 53 yards, but the rain was showing me the direction of the wind and I finished day 1 with 6 targets dropped for a total of 44. That’ll do - now for 5 hours of marshalling, help repaint the targets, and try to get some sleep.
DAY 2 WHITE COURSE I started on lane 15 again, as I would on all three days. With the first target in the bag, I control my breathing as the cross hairs stopped just inside the right-hand edge of the second one. The rifle fires almost instinctively, the target flips back to show a hit and I’m off to the perfect start. The rest of the White Course was enjoyably challenging, with the wind changing direction, just as I like it. Then, I was way too bold with the windage on a 50-yarder. The pellet didn’t move more than 20mm and that was my third, and thankfully last, miss of the day. That job done, I’m off for another marshalling stint, then more
painting, and Team Wales were all in bed by 10pm!
DAY 3 BLACK COURSE The final round, it’s all to fight for, and the big guns were up for it. Frankly, that last round was a blur and all I know is, with 20 targets to go, I was two down on the day when the jitters came back. The last standing lane held a 42-yard stander and if we were in Hollywood, our hero would have nailed this to win the Worlds. Well, I’m just an attractive Welshman and I missed. My 47 ex 50 gave me a total of 12 dropped from 150 and 2nd place in the FT World Championships, just one target behind fellow Welshman, Jack Harris, who defended his title magnificently.
Wales had gold in the team event and we had delivered the second-biggest shooting event in the sport’s history, with some 360 competitors. Just one target off the title, eh? That’ll help keep that dream alive!’