I’ve just got home from the World Cup in Antalya Turkey shooting for Team GB, with 16 countries competing. It was a long trip travelling from Heathrow London to Istanbul which was 3.5 hours, then a 3 hour wait then another flight to Antalya 1.5 hours. After getting to Antalya we had to collect all the bags and wait for the Rifles to come through with security and then they did a random check on my rifle to make sure all the paper work matched. From the airport to the hotel took about another 1 hour, so I left my house at 4am and got to the Hotel in Turkey after 11:30pm.
The Hotel was an all inclusive resort, which was very nice. It was strange doing an International shoot based on a Holiday resort, the comps took place inside one of the big Hotel rooms, which again was strange as the ceiling had a disco setting and the floor was very deep carpet. This setting did help though as it made me more relaxed as it did not feel like a big comp, with people on Holiday walking around etc.
Every day was long getting up at at 6:30am and going to bed at 11pm having done training, watching and supporting my team mates and shooting myself. I shot in R1 Standing, R3 Prone and Falling Target. On my first day I shot R1 Standing, my aim of this International comp was to gain more experience at this level. My first shoot went well and things went to plan, shooting the 60 shot match which has a time limit of 1h:45min to shoot all 60 shots including sighters.
On the next match I shot the Falling Targets, this is 5 targets with holes that reduce in size going from 1-5 as each hole gets smaller. The first hole is the easier and it gets allot harder as you shoot each target, and the last hole is so small that the pallet does not fit in the hole. When you hit the hole in the target a metal plate falls down to cover the hole.
The match starts with prep time to set-up and sighters, but you cannot sight the rifle up because you cannot see where the shots have gone which makes it very hard. Then you have to place out 5 pallets on the table (You only have 5 shots each round so one per target) and on command you are told to load then start. You only have 2.5 minutes to shoot all 5 shots. Then you repeat this again for one more round, and the top 2 scores go through to the next round, and so on until they have 4 shooters in the Final.
This was only the second time I had shot falling Target, the first being last September. I shot well in the first round and went straight through to the next round, then shot well again and made the final shoot. This was the first time I had made a final, which I did not have a break between rounds as the final was done straight after I shot my last round. I held it together in my first final shooting well again and getting second place on the podium, so my first Silver Medal at an International event.
My final comp was R3 Prone, this was another 60 shot match but with a time limit of 1h:15min including sighters. I was shooting late afternoon and it was very warm, so the first time shooting in these conditions, I had a good shoot again, and this was only my 3rd time shooting Prone in the last 12 months so was a very good experience at International level.
On the last night all the teams attended the closing ceremony and Banquet. I went up to get my Silver Medal for the Falling Plate comp, and was surprised to be called up again the get Bronze Medal for the R3 Prone Team which included Myself, Matthew Skelhone (Paralympic Gold Medal in R3 Prone 2008) and Deanna Coates (several times Paralympic medallist). We had won the 3rd place Team position in the R3 Prone, so another medal Bronze for the Team.
So overall my individual position I came 12 out of 25 in my class which was SH1 Male, a good result for my first big International shoot overseas, and getting a couple of medals which was a bonus as I was gaining more International experience.