It was another good day for the shooters – but then which day hasn’t been? – as Anita North, who had taken silver in the pairs single trap event the day before, went one better to claim gold, and James Huckle won his fourth medal from four competitions, this time a bronze in the 50m rifle 3-position event.
North competed here in the Commonwealth Championships in February, winning team gold but failing to reach the singles final.
“That was a very good learning experience,” said the 47-year-old regulatory affairs specialist from Cambridge. “I didn’t have such a good day, but I used that and it helped me plan for today.
“I’m pleased because I treated it as just another day in the office – although it was a very successful day.”
North shot 24, 22 and a maximum 25 to reach the final as the leading qualifier, and her score there of 22 won the title by a margin of two targets.
“I knew I was in the lead going into the final, but I tried just to do my own thing after that. I actually realised I had won when I hit the 24th target and all my team mates started cheering. I had to concentrate pretty hard before hitting the last one.
“Straight after the final I rang my husband Tony, who is back home. He couldn’t believe it – but he’d better believe it!
“I have enjoyed these Games from the start. They have been fabulous – I have really enjoyed India – and now I’ve gone out on a high. I’m going to try and get around to see some of the other sports now.”
North’s partner Abbey Burton narrowly failed to make the final after being involved in a shoot-off.
Huckle can reflect with pride upon his Commonwealth Games debut – and look forward with growing confidence to the Olympics looming in the middle distance 30 miles down the road from his home in Harlow.
Already in possession of two silvers and a bronze, the 20-year-old added bronze in the 50m rifle 3-positions event today after failing narrowly in an attempt to catch the shooter who went into the final seven points ahead of him after the qualification rounds, Scotland’s Jonathan Hammond.
By the time the event concluded, India’s world champion Gagan Narang had claimed another gold, but Hammond was only silver medallist by a margin of 0.4 points.
“In any final that’s quite a gap to make up,” Huckle acknowledged. “I might have done it, but I lost my concentration a bit on the final shots and ended up with one less than I got in the pairs yesterday.”
But three perfect shots at the start of the final convinced him that he would not have any trouble securing bronze ahead of India’s Imran Khan, who qualified with the same total as him, 1157 points.
“After those I was in the right frame of mind,” he said. “I was really confident that I had a medal.”
While Huckle is at the start of an exciting shooting career, the much-bemedalled Mick Gault is at the end of it, having said he will retire after these Games at the age of 56.
Unfortunately Gault could not add to his medal tally of 16 in today’s pairs 25m centrefire pistol as he and Iqbal Ughi finished eighth with 1124 in a competition won by the Indian pair of Vijay Kumar and Harpreet Singh with 1159.
He is two medals away from equalling the all-time Games record, and has three remaining competitions – tomorrow’s 25m centrefire pistol singles event, and the pairs and singles of the 25m standard pistol.
Sheree Cox and Sharon Lee finished seventh in the pairs 10m air pistol event.