Neil Stirton and Jonathan Hammond took bronze in the 50m 3 Position Pairs competition today, in another tense session at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. Adding to the bronze won by Jen McIntosh and Kay Copland in the equivalent women’s event, Neil and Jon became the first Scottish pair to medal in the discipline since 1994.
The women had missed out to India by a single point on Tuesday, and the men were even closer to taking silver. With the scores tied at 2308, Neil and Jon lost out to England by a single inner ten score. India took gold with a score of 2325-106x; a new Games record.
Despite the narrow margins, both shooters were delighted to come away with a medal. “We definitely had opportunities to go a few points better, but it’s still great to get the bronze”, said Jon. “We’ve both been shooting really well and we had high hopes for today, but it’s a great feeling to come away with a medal in my first match at a Commonwealth Games.”
Neil added: “It came down to the wire today. We tied with England and lost out on inner tens so that’s less than 1mm over 240 shots. It’s very close so we’re slightly disappointed not to take the silver, but we’re both delighted to come away with a medal anyway.
“It’s another medal for Team Scotland so hopefully it’ll boost morale within the team and make everyone proud at home.”
Both shooters will face one another in the singles events, starting tomorrow with the 50m 3P, which is an event Jon thinks both are capable of doing well in. “I’ve had a good couple of years and I’ve certainly been shooting pretty consistently in the three positions in the past 12 months”, he said. “Neil has really come on a huge amount too.”
With two medals already in the bag, Hammond has high hopes for the shooting team for the remainder of the competition: “Jen and Kay got off to a great start with a medal in the pairs, and Jen came pretty close in the singles. They have prone coming up and both of those girls are capable of shooting well.”
In the other events on the range today, John MacDonald and Ossie Mclean finished fourth and narrowly missed out on a medal in the trap pairs. Shona Marshall and Linda Pearson finished sixth in the women’s trap pairs, while Alan Ritchie came in 11th in the 10m air pistol.