Airgun World - - Ft World Championships -

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!’

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