Our Champions at the British Schools Pistol National Final

Our Champions at the British Schools Pistol National Final

The shooting range at Stoke Mandeville Stadium was abuzz with excitement on Wednesday 22nd January when Amber P was crowned the British Shooting Schools Pistol National Junior Champion and the Howell’s Team of Amber, Abi S and Alberta G, all in Year 8, won the Junior team competition.  

Their journey to the National Finals started at the Welsh Championships held in Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Ffairfach, Carmarthenshire last October The team of three won the Junior competition with a score of 461 and earned a place at the National Team Final. In the individual competition Amber won the gold medal and Abi the bronze, qualifying both for the National Individual Final.  
The team worked hard over Christmas and New Year training at the Welsh National Training range in the Sport Wales National Centre.  

On Wednesday, the Howell’s team had been allocated 10am as their start time. After reporting they lodged their pistols in the armoury and did a warm-up routine and then waited for the start, watching, with a little trepidation, as the first group of Junior athletes complete their 20 shots. The competition is shot on targets that automatically score the shot and shows the score on a screen in front of the athlete. This is great for the spectators as they can see how well everyone is shooting.  

The 10am detail had the last of the individual competitors and at the end we knew that Amber had qualified, in joint first place, for the individual final that would see the top 8 athletes compete in a 24-shot knock-out final to see who would be Champion. We had to wait to see which team would win as there was a further detail at 10.30. At the end of that detail the scores were posted on the board but there was no team ranking list. This left parents adding up and comparing scores and after the math had been done, they were fairly sure that Howell’s had won the team competition, but would have to wait for the formal announcement.  

In the individual final, the eight athletes have five minutes to fire unlimited sighting shots, after which they turn to face the crowd and are individually presented by the announcer. After this the competition starts. After the first 5 shot series, Amber was in the lead, but only by 0.2 points, after the second series this had switched and she was in 2nd place by 0.2 points. From this point on the athletes shoot 1 shot in a time limit of 50 seconds and after every 2 shots the athlete with the lowest total score is eliminated from the final. After 12 shots Amber had regained the lead by 0.3 points, this was looking to be a great final for the spectators. Amber remained in the lead, gradually increasing the difference all the way through, and after 24 shots she was 6.6 points ahead of the silver medalist. Amber had won gold with a score of 232.8, a fantastic score.  

At the end of the day, it was time for the presentations and the Howell’s team of Amber, Abi and Alberta had won gold with a score of 487, 26 points more than they shot at the Welsh Championships. All that hard work and training had paid off! A fantastic day for Howell’s, and all three girls have committed to sticking together and train for the qualification later this year to try to win a place in the 2021 National Final. They will move to the Intermediate class for pupils in years 9 and 10. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing more.  

Posted 24 January 2020


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