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Young Moray air pistol sharpshooter Lucy Evans made good use of the Covid-19 lockdown when she took on top international stars and finished third in a trailblazing online shooting competition using the Zoom app


By Craig Christie

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FORRES shooter Lucy Evans is living proof that you can take part in international sport and stay at home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Covid-19 lockdown couldn’t stop Lucy Evans from competing in a unique online international shooting competition on Saturday, where she finished third.
The Covid-19 lockdown couldn’t stop Lucy Evans from competing in a unique online international shooting competition on Saturday, where she finished third.

The teenage air pistol star was selected to take aim in an International Online Shooting Championship hosted nearly 5000 miles away in India, inviting shooters from across the globe to compete using a video conferencing app, with the contests streamed live on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/indianshooting/videos/751368885267904/

Former Forres Academy pupil Lucy (17) took part in the first-ever trial of a pioneering concept designed to keep people in the sport shooting in a safe environment amid the pandemic.

The competition wasn’t rated, but a second one she took part in a week later included a final shoot-out where she finished third to earn a place on the virtual podium behind two vastly experienced Indian marksmen who have medalled at World Cup competitions.

“We were all shooting in our own houses due to the current situation,” she said.

Two methods are used for online shooting, one a training system called SCATT which uses a sensor attached to the pistol which picks up the target, the other with electronic targets where the camera picks up where your shot went.

“The first week I did it on a SCATT in my living room and the second week I did it in my garage on an electronic target.

“It is done on Zoom (a video conferencing app), which is being used quite a lot at the moment.

“We just had ourselves up on cameras, about 60 of us I think, so that they could see us and our screen, whether we were using SCATT or normal target.

“People could pick up on our scores and we just sent them in once they were done.”

Some shooters in the competition were seen on video modifying their bedrooms, balconies and basements to attain the 10m distance needed to shoot in the event Evans was taking part in.

Lucy Evans finished third behind two top Indian marksmen in the 10m air pistol final.
Lucy Evans finished third behind two top Indian marksmen in the 10m air pistol final.

One rifle marksman shot from his bedroom through two open doors and a corridor at a target on the back of a clothes shelf.

With the International Shooting Sport Federation cancelling events this year and shooters encouraged to stay away from their usual target ranges and clubs during lockdown, the online tournaments give people a unique way to remain on the competitive stage.

“It was something we’ve never had to experience before now but because of the current circumstances we have been going to all extremes just to sort of keep our eye in and keep the competitive feeling while staying within current regulations,” said Evans.

“It was incredible. Nothing like that had happened before. This competition doesn’t count as anything official, but it was a good experience to get a flavour of the international field, as we treated it as a real competition.”

Finishing third behind World Cup gold and bronze medallists was no mean feat for Evans, who herself has won a British Open junior women’s gold medal, as well as a British schools title, and has been picked up by the British Shooting Development Academy and the Scottish Target Shooting junior development programme.

“Everything has been so innovative. You just have to make use and improvise with what you’ve got. It’s been a real eye opener. I’m really grateful to have the opportunity.”

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