Anita North reports from the English Championships

The UT World Championship winners. L-R Nathan Hales, Adam Getteridge and overall winner Kevin Borley

It’s competitions galore for Anita North as she attends the English Championships for Universal Trench and Olympic Trap and sees British shooters succeed in Al Ain!

I’m writing this on Easter Monday and it’s been all go over the last few weeks. As well as registered competitions and training days, it’s the time of year when the major competitions get underway.

In the last four weekends at Nuthampstead there have been three two-day competitions, including two English Open Championships – one for Universal Trench and the other for Olympic Trap. There have also been more competitions abroad, which have yielded some great results for British shooters.

Universal Trench English Open

The last weekend of March saw bright Spring weather as UT shooters gathered at Nuthampstead for the first major of the year: the English Open and GB Team selection shoot. This event saw 108 UT shooters competing for titles, as well as team rankings towards team places for the European Championships.

The competition is contested over eight rounds – four rounds of 25 targets each day, for a total of 200 targets. A strong start to day 1 saw six shooters put in perfect scores in their first round, and after four rounds superstar veteran UT shooters Kevin Borley and Dick Fletton were leading the field with close-to-perfect scores of 99.

Emma Haines took first place in the UT World Championship Ladies competition after putting in a commanding performance

Rod Gould, Adam Gutteridge, Nathan Hales and David Kirk followed closely, each on 97. Day 1 also saw an impressive 50-straight from Emma Haines – a superb start to the competition from a shooter who had not competed since last August. At the end of day 1 Emma led the ladies with 94, while Theo Ling led the Juniors on 96 and Tom Betts led the Colts with 90.

By the end of day 2 two shooters were joint leaders: Adam Gutteridge and Kevin Borley, both on 194. A shoot-off was required, and it was Kevin who put in a perfect 25 to take the title, Adam narrowly behind on 24.

Nathan Hales joined them in the overall medallists. In the Ladies competition, Emma Haines maintained her dominance and won with a score of 177, with Lucy Hall and Sue Bate joining her in the medals.

A victorious Theo Ling is joined by Juniors runner up David Craig

In the Juniors Theo Ling took victory on a score of 181 with David Craig in second place. There were two shooters tied for third place: Ryan Askem and Ewen Ross. Ewen and Ryan were already on the journey home, so a shoot-off to decide this place was scheduled to take place at the next UT selection shoot.

In Veterans the deserving medallists were David Lloyd, Chris Tate and Carl Burrow. In Super Veterans the medals went to Kevin Borley, Dick Fletton and John Winn.

Congratulations to all category and class winners. The BICTSF UT championships move on to the British Grand Prix at Brook Bank on 4-5 May. 

For more information on UT and a full list of prize winners, check out the dedicated BICTSF Universal Trench page at www.bictsf.com/universal-trench.

Olympic Trap English Open and England Team selection shoots.

Overall Olympic Trap English Open winner Nathan Hales shows off the silverware

The sun shone for the Olympic Trap English Open at Nuthampstead over the Easter weekend. As qualifiers for the England Team, shooters could opt to shoot one or both days, but the English Open was contested over the full two days and 200 targets. A field of 77 shooters competed over both days, with seven more competing on one day only.

Bright blue skies meant perfect visibility and there was only a light breeze, so the clays were flying beautifully. Day 1 saw Rod Gould in imperious form topping the leaderboard with 96. Nathan Hales and Ed Ling were close behind on 94. Ian Peel, Mike Wensley and Mark Shaw had 92. In the Ladies category, Ellie Seward led with 88 ahead of Maddie Purser on 87 and Elise Dixon on 86. 

Day 2 brought more fabulous sunny weather and the level of competition remained high. Nathan Hales and Ed Ling both shot 96 leaving them as the joint leaders with 190. A sudden-death shoot-off decided the win, and it was Nathan Hales who claimed victory after hitting four clays to Ed’s three. Ed took second place, while the newly retired Ian Peel, who had shot a solid 95 on the second day, took third place with 187.

It was a goal-smashing shoot for Maddie Purser, who took home prizes across four classes and categories

In the Veterans, Ian Peel’s strong day 2 gave him first place. GB Coach Kevin Gill took second and Chris Tate in was in third.

In the Juniors, Lewis Owen shot an impressive 95 on day 2 to give him the Junior win with a total score of 184. Theo Ling and Michael Bovingdon joined him in the medals.

Maddie Purser was in awesome form and a 90 on day 2 brought her a total to 177. A weekend of personal bests for the young Hertfordshire shooter gave her wins in Colts, Lady Junior, Ladies and D Class, and with them lots of bling to take home.

Theo Lewis won the Junior titles at the Olympic Trap English Open

Elise Dixon and Abbey Ling joined Maddie in the Ladies medals, while Elise and Lucy Hall were with her in the medals for Lady Juniors. In Colts it was Tom Betts and Ben Killian who took second and third to Maddie’s first.

The prize ceremony was conducted outdoors in the glorious sunshine, with presentations made by BICTSF Director Gary McCann and CPSA National Director Nicola Heron. 

A full list of winners can be found at www.bictsf.com/olympic-trap.

Brits Abroad – ISSF World Cup, Al Ain UAE

The second shotgun ISSF World Cup of the year took place in Al Ain, UAE at the beginning of April. The GB team started brilliantly, and followed up their early success with some solid results. In addition, there was progress from Acapulco and the finals were streamed live on the ISSF Facebook page, so it was fab to be able to watch the action as it took place.

The first event was Women’s Trap. In the qualifying rounds, two British shooters broke the existing British record – Charlotte Kerwood scored 119 and Kirsty Hegarty (competing under her maiden name of Barr) scored 120.

The third British team member, Ellie Seward, put in a steady 110 – another great experience for this young shooter still in the early stages of her Senior career. Kirsty was one of three shooters on a score of 120 who would shoot off for two places in the final.

She came through that and found sterling form in the final to finish in the silver medal position. France’s Carole Cornemier was the winner and Silvana Stanco from Italy took bronze. More than a medal, Kirsty’s finish also earned GB a quota place for the Tokyo Olympics. This means that GB will have a woman competing in Olympic Trap in the Tokyo Olympics (each country can have a maximum of two in each event if they win the quota places).

It’s a fabulous result for Kirsty and a wonderful result for GB. All of the shooters competing for GB put in a great deal of hard work and dedication, so it’s fabulous to see this paying dividends.

In the men’s Trap event, Matt Coward-Holley finished on 122 but missed out on a place in the final after a shoot-off that involved seven shooters competing for two places. Matt finished in ninth place overall. Ed Ling was just behind Matt on 121 and Aaron Heading shot 120.

This was an encouraging result for the British men’s team and things look hopeful as the international competition season builds. The event was won by the Olympic Champion Josip Glasnovic from Croatia with Savate Sresthaporn from Thailand taking silver and Paul Pigorisch from German taking bronze.

In the mixed team event, GB teams finished in the middle of the field. Germany, USA and Italy took the medals.

In the women’s Skeet competition, Elena Allen and Amber Hill just missed out on places in the final, both finishing on 117, to giving them ninth and tenth place. Alexandra Skeggs, the third British team member, finished on 104 on her first outing for GB.

Kimberly Rhode continued her dominance to take her 20th World Cup gold medal! Francisca Crovetto Chadid from Chile took silver and Cyprus’s Andri Eleftheriou won the bronze.

In the men’s Skeet competition it was another close call. Ben Llewellin finished on a score of 122, which put him into a four-way shoot off for a place in the final.

Ben just missed out and ended in seventh place. Jeremy Bird was just behind Ben’s score with 121 and Mike Gilligan finished on 119. Kuwait shooter Mansour Al Rashedi won gold, with Denmark’s Jesper Hansen taking silver, and Australia’s Luke Argiro taking bronze after equalling the perfect World Record in qualification.

You can find full results for the World Cup on the ISSF website. Follow them on Facebook to watch finals live when they are able to stream them. Here’s to more great shooting for GB!

Happy shooting folks. Don’t forget to get behind our teams as they continue on the quest for medals! 

Anita North won silver and gold in Women’s Trap at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2010. She is now a British Shooting GB Talent Programme coach.

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