Barry’s best at Bisley

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The Jerseyman is already targeting a return to Bisley next summer while a potential trip to South Africa is also on the cards as the shooting community comes to terms with a lack of Commonwealth opportunities until at least 2026.

Le Cheminant won Queen’s Prize silver after finishing at the top of the second-stage standings in Surrey – an accolade achieved by his brother, Andrew, in 1992 and by Jersey’s last Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Colin Mallett, in 1988.

The Old Victorian, whose first appearance at Bisley came as a schoolboy in 1978, said: ‘What is really nice is that my brother won the same competition 28 years ago and Colin Mallett has also won it, making it three locals to have won that particular competition.

‘It was lovely to win the second stage, I was made up to come out on top. I ended up in 28th in the final and I was a tad disappointed with that, to be honest.

‘I think there were over 300 entries this year. Admittedly entries were down because overseas teams weren’t there, but on this occasion 120 went through to the second stage and only the top 50 went through to the final stage. Most years it’s the top 100.’

Le Cheminant scored a maximum 50 in all three rounds, over 300, 500 and 600 yards, registering eight v-bulls on each occasion.

‘I had 24 v-bulls and I think the next two people had 23. It was all very close,’ he explained.

‘When you look down the range and see 120 people all shooting at the same time … 120 people all laid in a row but on that day things were on my side. I managed to assess the wind correctly, hold my nerve and shoot straight. And I didn’t get caught out by the wind changing, which is a bit of good fortune as well.’

Discussing his career achievements – and what lies on the horizon – four-times Commonwealth Games shooter Le Cheminant said: ‘For me personally, I think the Bisley meeting, when you do have everyone there on a normal year, in my view that’s the biggest competition there is. I enjoy shooting anyway but this one, because it’s the Queen’s Prize and it’s the highlight of the shooting year … it’s certainly right up there, without a doubt. Getting through to the final is always the aim but to come out on top of the second stage was very much a bonus.’

He added: Unfortunately shooting is not on Birmingham’s [Commonwealth] criteria and the Island Games was going to be next year. One was hoping to take part in that but we are still so lucky in Jersey because even throughout winter we can shoot twice a week and the competition is still hot here.

‘We’re missing out on some competitions but we are so lucky to be able to jump in a car and be at a range 20 minutes later to shoot. A lot of people are happy to be able to do that with the environment we’re in at present.

‘If shooting is included for the Commonwealth Games again I would love to go, but we will have to see. As shooters we would be keen to attend another competition and the World Long Range Championships is coming up in South Africa – that would be a trip we can all potentially look forward to.’

India are set to host a satellite shooting competition for Commonwealth nations in 2022, after initially threatening to boycott the Birmingham Games in protest against shooting’s omission.

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