New target for medals ace
Mick Gault has got his first taste of India as the clock ticks down to his potentially history-making appear-ance at the Commonwealth Games.The 55-year-old shooter from Dereham has won 15 medals in four Commonwealths since he first competed in 1992.
Mick Gault has got his first taste of India as the clock ticks down to his potentially history-making appear-ance at the Commonwealth Games.
The 55-year-old shooter from Dereham has won 15 medals in four Commonwealths since he first competed in 1992.
Gault, a civil servant based at RAF Marham, will take part in eight events in the 2010 Games in New Dehil in October - and if he gets four medals he will become the most successful competitor of all time in any sport from any country.
The marksman travelled to India for the Commonwealth Championships and said he had been 'reasonably successful' in getting a gold, three silvers and two bronzes.
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He admitted the competition would be stiffer in October as some nations weren't represented - but it gave him an insight into the range which will be used, the conditions
in India and the precautions which will have to be faced.
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'We were warned about the culture shock and it certainly was. When we arrived everything was totally different to what we were used to. Everywhere is quite dirty and they do not seem to have an infrastructure for litter. The poor people are living in real squalor.'
Gault said the shooting complex which will be used in the Commonwealth Games is 'world class' and while it is not yet finished, it should be by October. 'I know where I am now and me and the team are prepared for New Dehli.'
The host shooters will be the ones to beat and have cash as well as medals to aim for. 'The Indians are streets ahead and it has given me something to look at. They are all professionals and get paid on performance.
'I need three medals to equal the record and four to break it, and if I could do that I would be a very happy Hector!'
In the Commonwealth Championships Gault got a gold in free pistol pairs with Nick Baxter, silvers in individual free pistol, standard pistol pairs with Iqbal Ubhi and air pistol pairs silver with Nick Baxter and bronzes in centre fire pairs with Uhbi and individual air pistol.
Gault has a busy few months ahead including the European Championships in Norway, a competition in Dortmund, the World Cup in Belgrade, the World Championships in Munich and warm weather training in Spain.
Gault praised the backing of colleagues at RAF Marham. 'Without the support of work I would not be able to do it.'
Gault needs to get funding to get centre fire bullets - which cost about �650 for 1000 - as Team England has not got the budget to provide them.
Anyone who can help can e-mail Gault at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him via Ian Clarke at the Times' Dereham office on 01362 854701.