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.

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December 2008

Gorgs is…….On Target!

2008 was another mad, fun packed and productive year for me, wearing my British t-shirt and gun close to hand! With some good training before Christmas at Budleigh Farm, Okehampton Rifle Club and Bisley, this wee Devonshire lass packed her bag and came into the New Year ready to tackle the world.

My major achievements began at the British Championships in February, where I broke the Senior Ladies Air Pistol qualification and final record, which had stood for 16 years. A great moment, especially as Mum was there to witness it and Dad at the end of the phone! I was then the only Senior British pistol shooter to be selected for the major competitions of the year, (Europeans in Switzerland, and the Munich and Milan World Cups). Average performances at these left me hungry to train harder, but more importantly the realisation hit home that the top spot is definitely within my grasp.

Then came Hannover and the .22 season, where I broke the Senior Ladies Sport Pistol qualification and final record. This was very satisfactory, as not having any ties to force me to return to the UK after a Switzerland training week, I was able to kindly stay with Al Green and his family in the mountains for a few days and continue training. From there, with the help of TomTom, we tripped across Europe to Hannover where I did the business!

But debatably the highlight of my year had to be an email I received from the British Olympic Association. It asked me to fill out the athlete details form for Beijing, (the very same one Chris Hoy filled out!) such as comments for the commentators and kit sizing…..yes, for that t-shirt I really want! A wild card was applied for me to compete, but sadly not granted. This glimmer just makes me want London even more, especially as my British Record score in Feb would have got me a bronze medal!

Now if I thought life couldn’t get any more exciting, I’d be wrong! One Monday morning, as the Geikie’s were innocently fast asleep, a knock on the front door at 7am was heard by Dad. Leaning out the window, a lady in black asked Dad if Georgina Geikie was there, as she had been selected for a drugs test! I had been tested numerous times before, but this was a first out of competition or training. Another funny moment to add to the Addiscott Kitchen Table antics!

All in all 2008 has had its ups and downs. Training has gone well at home and abroad, swapping the horse Jake for Humphry the camel in Israel! Looking out from the top of Mt. Masada at the Deadsea, hearing Hannah ask; “so how did the Romans straightened their hair?” and seeing a string of camels going along the roadside and asking “so is this rush hour in Jerusalem?” had us in constant giggles for our one day off!

But all this wouldn’t have been possible without the support team! I just want to thank the Colton’s at Fingle Bridge Inn, Colin and Fran Davey at the Ring of Bells and Alex and Carolyn at the Seven Stars for giving me work to keep the pennies coming in when I’m at home. As well as Arthur Harvey and Bernard and Yvonne Rendle for the range training facilities. Also importantly all the kind, kind support of sponsors along the way.

Post Beijing British Shooting has been given very minimal Lottery Funding by UK Sport to support us athletes in the lead up to 2012. Therefore forcing us to self fund all our activities abroad and otherwise. But with the inspiration of great friend Heather Fell, Modern Pentathlon silver medallist in Beijing, it is possible!

The 2009 season is already looking bright, as having gained the British qualification standards, I’m the only Senior Pistol shooter so far to be selected for the Europeans in March. Also English training is getting geared up for the Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010. I returned from a Minor International in Luxemburg on Sunday, where I won a silver and bronze medal……..and to be honest, I’ve not unpacked since January! ……all I need is that 2012 t-shirt to add to it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article written by Georgina Geikie

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