Team Scotland’s shooters have put in a fantastic performance in Delhi, contributing a total of nine medals (four gold, three silver, two bronze) to the team total of 26. In Jonathan Hammond, shooting also lay claim to the most successful athlete in any sport, at a single Games (two gold, silver, bronze).
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t something I’d thought about before”, said Jon. “I had a belief that there would be medal opportunities in every event I had, and we prepared for it. Just little things throughout the year like shooting two big matches back to back. It was all in the planning so it’s hugely satisfying when it all works out in your favour.”
Hammond will carry the flag for Scotland at today’s closing ceremony; an honour fitting for his fantastic performance, both as an individual and as a pair with Neil Stirton. Jon will also be joined by shooting colleagues Jen McIntosh and team leader Joan Watt, along with swimmer, David Carry who are also being recognised for their achievements and contribution to Team Scotland.
Jen and David have both put in fantastic performances at the 2010 Games, while Joan has been a devoted member of Team Scotland for many years. Starting as a physio in Edinburgh in 1970, Joan has also worked as a physio for athletics and shooting. She is the team leader for shooting in Delhi, and has played a major part in their success.
Jon narrowly pipped fellow shooter Jen McIntosh, who herself claimed an impressive three medals (two gold, one bronze). Jen also reached some personal targets; particularly winning gold in the 50m prone singles event, which was won by her mother Shirley at the 1994 Games in Victoria. With a world record, equalling performance of 597-42x, Jen also set a new Commonwealth Games record.
Jen is open about the inspiration and encouragement she has received over the years from both her mother and her father Donald. “A big inspiration for me was my mother, and I just want to thank my family and my friends for their support”, she said.
Jon also spoke about the successes of the team as a whole: “It’s been an incredible Games for shooting. Once we got a few medals it was good for morale, he said. “On the rifle side to pick up so many medals, particularly in the 3P was huge. We’ve always been strong in prone and we knew we’d have medal opportunities so that put us in a good frame of mind and maybe lifted a bit of pressure early on. To get four golds out of four in the prone events is just fantastic.
“Shona Marshall in the shotgun event has a medal, and the full-bore guys picked up a medal, so it’s great that we’re contributing as a team. I just wanted to do my best and try to pick up a medal in every one.”
The small-bore rifle team contributed seven medals in total (four gold, one silver, two bronze), which coach Donald McIntosh describes as being “beyond my wildest dreams”.
“Picking up three 3P medals was ahead of my internal target, and we almost had four”, said Donald. “I’m delighted for Shona Marshall, who has grafted so hard over the past few years, pretty much on her own. And the full-bore guys today had a great result.
“We’ve had a lot of support; financial and otherwise from the institute network over the past few years. We’ve had much more financial support over the past few years that we’ve ever had before from sportscotland and it’s delivered.”
Shooting Team Leader Joan Watt, is delighted with the performance of the shooting team out in Delhi and hopes that it will be the cornerstone for further development of the sport in Scotland. “I’m very proud of the whole team”, said Joan. “They’ve all worked so hard, and it’s fantastic to see them getting the praise that they really deserve. It is very good for shooting, and I hope that it will influence the future in terms of facilities and funding.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Donald McIntosh: “I think we can do more. We’ve got some challenges with the programme change coming up. We’re dealing with people being spread across the world. We struggle to train in the winter because we don’t have the facilities. If we can change that then we can do better.”