The Welsh Confined and Open Championships took place on Sunday in the stunning grounds of Llandovery College, kindly hosted by Regional Centre; Target Sprint Cymru.
The sunshine and blue sky filled the day, highlighting the fun and great performances from experienced Target Sprint athletes, as well as many new athletes to the sport.
Rob Shawyer, who leads Target Sprint Cymru and coordinated the event said: “I was delighted to see such fantastic support for the British Shooting Welsh Championships events and to see all the athletes, families and friends have such fun in the sun… plus seeing great performances on the track and range. Looking forward to next year already!” (Welsh Confined & Open Champs – Sunday 19th April 2020).
The day began with the National Series races, which welcomed new faces and big smiles! One of these was Lowri Morgan, TV and BBC Radio Presenter, endurance & adventure athlete and mum.
Lowri is no stranger to taking up a challenge and this bank holiday weekend saw her take on target sprint.
Lowri said “I done many many sports and activities in my career, where a number of them my family haven’t been able to watch or support me. But I couldn’t keep them away from coming to see me take on target sprint!
“My second shoot let me down! When’s the next training session?!”
The senior women’s category at the Welsh Champs was the strongest seen all year. Lowri took the silver medal behind Nicole Newton who claimed gold and ahead of Kirstin Littlewood who won bronze.
The Youth Men’s category welcomed a number of new faces and seasoned athletes. Harrison Pepper, Matthew Batchelor and Joshua Thomas took the podium places, with National Series Quota Places also going to new athletes Dafydd Price and Rhys Smart.
The afternoon’s races took place on the smaller 35mm diameter targets and saw athletes winning medals and Super League Points.
Gold Medals in the Super League and Open Welsh Champs went to Junior Men: Arno Turner in a time of 5 minutes, Junior Women: Emily Shawyer (5 minutes 25 seconds), Men: Erwin Webber (5 minutes 38 seconds) and Women: Kirstin Littlewood (8 minutes 14 seconds). All these athletes added 10 Super League Points to their 2019 tally, which comes to a climax at the British Championships on Saturday 21st September.
With double points available at the British Championships, it bodes to be an exciting competition as Arno is now just 4 points behind Jono Williams and 5 ahead of Morten Van Der Schee.
The Men’s category, which included the over 45 age group, was another record-breaking field size. It also welcomed Erwin Webber from the German Sommerbiathlon Vorwaldschutzen Renholding.
Gold medals and Welsh Confined Championships titles were presented by Ian Harris, Secretary and Treasurer of the Welsh Airgun Association. The WAA have been particularly supportive in the development of the Target Sprint Cymru regional centre and sport in Wales, so it was fantastic to have him in attendance and helping.
Ian went on to say: “I was so pleased to see so many people attending the event and everyone enjoying themselves.”
This years Welsh Confined Champions titles went to: Junior Women: Emily Shawyer; Junior Men: Harrison Pepper; Senior Women Kirstin Littlewood; and Senior Men: Paul O’Callaghan.
The Chairman of British Shooting, John Harris also attended the event and went on to say: “On behalf of British Shooting I would like to thank all those who helped to make this such a fun, welcoming and professional event. The timing system especially demonstrated the efficiency and professionalism of the set up.
“I’m looking forward to seeing those athletes with their families and friends who qualified for the National Series Final in September again and enjoying the British Championships which really is going to be a fantastic climax to the domestic season.”
Photography by Rob Riddett