January 2009

This article has been kindly written by Geraldine Buckley and Gorgs Geikie.

Geri and I were the only British Lady Pistol representatives at the Pilsen Grand Prix in January and it proved to be a successful first competition of the air season. It was difficult to acclimatise to the bitterly cold weather (-15oC), but more importantly the very late starts for the lady pistol shooters. On both days the juniors were at 5pm and the seniors at 7pm. It proved challenging to find activities to occupy the time in the small city before we shot and even more so to remain focused for the finals at 9.15pm! However we both rose to the challenge making the junior and senior finals on the last day.

Geri was the first British shooter to participate in the shoot off for a place in the final. This took place just before the final itself where she shot a 50 gun score, to complete the qualification stage in 7th place. Although moving up to 5th place she found the prolonged finals phase to be more mentally demanding than she had anticipated, but a valuable experience for the future.

As the competition drew to a close and mid night drew closer, the last final proved to be nail biting as Britain had an ace up their sleeve. Shooting 383 points, Gorgs went into the final in first place with a three point lead. The hot competition was Olympian Miroslawa Sagunewandowska of Poland in third place, who then went onto win both matches at the Munich Airgun Competition a few weeks later. Never the less, Gorgs remained focused and determined till the end, where as the British supporters were far from relaxed - sitting on the edge of their seats! The kind support from the Scottish shooters in the final added to the air of excitement of the British success.

It was a great achievement to win the first international competition of the season and for Geri to come 5th, showing all the hard training and preparation over the winter had proved invaluable.