Sensational shooter Jen McIntosh finished as Team Scotland’s most celebrated female medallist at her last Commonwealth Games outing and is desperate for further success at Glasgow 2014.
McIntosh won two gold and a bronze at the Delhi 2010 Games as Team Scotland’s shooters enjoyed a record-breaking nine medal haul which saw them finish as top Scottish sport.
She said: “It was an incredible experience, it doesn’t really get much better than that. I don’t remember much about it as it was such a blur of emotions, relief and disbelief at the same time. It was a fairytale-come-true where you have to pinch yourself to remind yourself this is actually happening.
“Being part of Team Scotland is special and it doesn’t matter what sport you are from, there is that sense that you are all part of one team and that is really nice.”
“When people ask me where I’m from I always say I’m from Scotland, it’s really important to me to be able to compete at the top level for my country. It’s nice competing for GB, but I am Scottish and proud to compete for Scotland.”
The Commonwealth Games is a family affair for the 21-year-old, her mother Shirley winning gold and silver at the 1994 Games then bronze in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, whilst her father Donald represented Scotland in Manchester in 2002 and is now the Shooting Team Manager for Glasgow 2014, having been the smallbore rifle head coach in Delhi.
“Commonwealth Games has always been a big part of our family life, it’s important to all of us and that makes it really special”, added McIntosh, who grew up in Falkirk and first honed her skills with the Dollar Academy cadets.
“I have vague memories of my mum coming home from the Commonwealth Games in 1994 when I was three. She gave me her medal and I thought, I want one. I watched the opening ceremony at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 on the TV and was shouting there’s my mum!”.
“I was also in Manchester for the opening ceremony in 2002 and to see the reaction the English competitors got from their home crowd was incredible. I was already looking forward to the home Games experience in 2014 and competing at the London 2012 Olympics made me realise how amazing a home crowd can be. I am sure Glasgow will be even better.”
Now based in Aberdeen and training full-time, McIntosh has a hectic schedule ahead with three World Cup events, the British Championships and the European Championships within a three month period over the summer.
McIntosh said: “I’ve a mad few months ahead, but at each event, I’ll be aiming to set the mark and qualify for Glasgow.”
Such is her focus and determination, few would bet against her doing just that.
You can follow Jen on Twitter @JenMac600
Photo Credit: Alistair Devine