The curtain came down on the 2019 Target Sprint domestic season at the weekend, with the British Championships and National Series Final which took place at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex and was kindly hosted by Sedgemoor Target Sprint Regional Centre.
Saturday afternoon saw the top athletes from across the country, tussle against one another to claim the title of British Champion. The British Championships also brought the 2019 Super League season to a climax. The League Table was very close going into the event, meaning that every point mattered!
And Sunday saw athletes who have qualified at the National Series events throughout the year, which were held around the countryside, come together to challenge for the National Series Final titles. Many of these athletes are new to the sport or have little experience of Target Sprint, but thanks to Air Arms who have sponsored the National Series with equipment, it has meant all athletes need to get involved is a smile and willingness to take on the fun sport.
The format of both days meant that the fastest 10 athletes in each age/gender category from the Heats progressed to the nail-biting finals, meaning athletes needed to consider tactics to help them secure their place in the Final.
Saturday’s British Championships Finals began with a bang as Poppy Clark’s outstanding performance saw her claim not only the British Champion title, but also break the British Record by 6 seconds held by Emily Shawyer.
Hetty Clark, Poppy’s mum explained how thrilled and surprised they were of the result, but also how much it meant to them as Poppy has had a challenging year of injuries and juggling school commitments.
Callum Fricker from the North West Regional Centre took the Junior Men’s title in the fastest time of the day, ahead of Isaac Steele and Jono Williams both from Sedgemoor Regional Centre.
The British Champion in the Women’s category went to Rachel McManus, who travelled over from Northern Ireland to compete. Rachel also finishes the season ranked GB Number 1.
The sun came down on the final race of the day, the Men’s British Championship. With a mixture of new and old faces to target sprint introduced to the spectators by internationally recognised commentator Shak Siyya, it was the determined Anthony Glover who crossed the line first to take the title.
Consistency across the season was the key to who took the all-important Super League trophies, which were kindly sponsored by Robert Shawyer.
80 Super League points was the maximum number on offer in the 2019 season. With 60 points, Jono Williams took the Junior Men’s Super League title, ahead of Arno Turner with 54. Paul O’Callaghan, (57 points), Emily Shawyer (59 points) and Kirstin Littlewood (28) points all from Wales won the Men’s, Junior Women’s and Women’s league titles respectfully.
Rain didn’t stop play on Sunday, as the National Series Final Heat races took place. But the clouds parted ahead of the lunchtime demonstration of Para Target Sprint.
The demonstration welcomed Tim Jeffrey’s Paralympic Rifle Shooter, Nikita Wright Talent Pathway Para Pistol Shooter, Morten van der Schee GB Target Sprint Team athlete 2019 and Mike Hanney Team GB Fencing Paralympian 1988 take part in a shortened version of the sport. With the athletes differing levels of target sprint experience, different physical abilities and means to cover the distance between the shooting sessions, the demonstration illustrated the true nature of this Sport for All.
The sun shone and highlighted the fun and fantastic performances in the Finals on Sunday, as the National Series came to a climax.
The exciting talented young athletes of Caitlin Keaney and Jono Williams took home to the Westcountry the Youth gold medals.
A fantastic performance from Araminta Stubbs saw her stand on the top podium place in the Junior Women’s category. And with the fastest time of the day, John Trotman took the Junior Men’s title home to Manchester.
The Women’s trophy presented by the Bradbury Family and National Final title, went to Megan Gilkes in the strongest women’s race seen at the National Series Final to date. But it was Anthony Glover who made it two titles in two days, to win the Men’s National Series Final 2019.
British Shooting would like to thank all the Regional Centres, Hubs, athletes, parents, friends, coaches, helpers, volunteers and all who have been involved with the 2019 Target Sprint season.
What a year. What fun. Bring on 2020…
Join us and our team of experts, which includes Summer & Winter Olympians at our upcoming Masterclass – “Conditioning for Target Sprint” on Sunday 24th November at Chipping Sodbury School.
Calling athletes….If you competed in a 2019 or 2018 National Series or Super League event, or have a Target Sprint Safety Certificate WE WELCOME YOU to attend this masterclass.
Calling coaches and observers…. Limited spaces are available. If you’re interested please contact Gorgs Geikie Events@BritishShooting.org.uk
British Championships Results