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Forres shooter Lucy Evans is British Open airgun champion

By Jonathan Clark

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Forres shooter Lucy Evans receiving her trophy from John Lloyd, chairman of the NSRA.
Forres shooter Lucy Evans receiving her trophy from John Lloyd, chairman of the NSRA.

FORRES pistol shooter Lucy Evans has her sights firmly set on the Commonwealth Games after becoming a British champion.

Evans (17) also set a new junior British women’s record in the process of winning the final of the 10M Air Junior Women Pistol Final.

The event was part of the British Open Airgun Championship, which took place in Bisley, England, over two days towards the end of February.

Lucy was delighted to break the record, and her success was made even sweeter by the fact she only just squeezed into the final.

She said: “I have never really had much success at the bigger competitions so it was great to get the first win under the belt.

“There was two qualifying shoots on the Saturday and one on the Sunday. On Saturday I shot 549 and 546 out of 600. The women were then split into aggregate classes based on personal bests.

“On the Sunday I shot 535. It was the top eight qualifying for the final and I was eighth – with myself and the girl below both on 535.

“I got more inner tens and qualified by the skin of my teeth. It was kind of crazy to go from that not-so-strong qualification and put it behind me.

“I went into final in good place because I felt no pressure – I didn’t expect to win.

“But I won with a score of 236.3 (out of 261.6) which was a British junior women’s record.” The coronavirus shutdown has impacted all sports, and shooting is no different.

Normally, Lucy travels to Newcastle every month to train with the British squad – but that isn’t possible at the moment.

Fortunately, Forres-based coach Mark Joyce is keeping her on course with her aim of reaching the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He said: “I have already set Lucy’s goal – which is the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“It depends on how training goes. Nothing is guaranteed. It’s a goal that could be achieved, but there is no promises.”

Lucy is determined to meet her coach’s objectives.

“It’s nice to have it in my sights as something to work towards,” she said. “It keeps me motivated.

“It’s really good to have Mark on my doorstep because he is a British shooting coach.

“I have the support from him on hand during the coronavirus lockdown.

“Birmingham was going to host the shooting in 2022, but now it’s in India. It’s a bit gutting not to have it on home turf, but it’s nice to have it.

“There was talk of shooting not being part of the Commonwealth Games at all, it was only confirmed a couple of months ago. Ideally I would travel to India.”

The Olympics, which were due to take place in Japan this summer, have been postponed until next year, but will still come too early for Lucy.

She added: “The Olympics in 2024 or 2028 would be nice. It is every athlete’s dream, but we will see what the future brings.”

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