The 2016 Welsh Open was held in Cardiff from the 28th to 30th October. This is always a popular shoot and this year saw competitors from Germany, Norway, Malta and Gibraltar, as well as the home countries take part.
There was a match (60 or 40 shot) each day, with the final held in a separate 'finals hall' ( the hall used for the CSF(Ed) matches). This meant the finals could take place fairly soon after the match and there was no undue waiting around. A few glitches did cause a few delays, but these things happen.
On the Friday, David Owen and Alan Goodall qualified for the final, both with a score of 567, but 18x to 12x put David in 4th place and Alan in 5th. In the final itself, David was eliminated in 8th place and Alan in 4th. Only 6 junior men shot, so all went through to the final. Andrew Walker, in his first international final, gave a creditable performance to finish 5th, with Hamish Barker 4th and Áedán Evans 2nd. The women's matches saw Jess Liddon qualify in 4th place with 366 and Caroline Brownlie qualify in 5th place with 365, the placing changing to 5th for Caroline and 6th for Jess after the final. Kerstin Dodd, with 347 qualified in 7th place for the junior women's final where she moved up to 4th place.
On the Saturday, Nick (568) and David (564) went into the final placed 3rd and 6th and finished 4th and 5th respectively. There were 7 shooters in the junior men's qualifier, so all went through to the final. Andrew's first series put him at the top of the table with 31.0 and his second series gave him 2nd place. He finished in style in 6th place, with 10.4!
Caroline (7x- 4th place) and Jess (5x- 5th place) both shot 358 to qualify for the final. The result was Jess in 2nd place and Caroline in 5th. Kerstin shot 359 to get her to the junior women's final in 6th place, where she shot impressively to finish 3rd.
None of the men qualified for the final on the Sunday. Again, only 7 junior men so all were in the final. Áedán went into the final in 2nd place with 557, Hamish in 4th place with 538 and Andrew in 7th place with 495. Áedán finished 4th, Hamish 5th and Andrew 7th, so no medals for any of the men!
The girls continued to shoot well, Caroline qualifying with 372 (4th) and Jess with 366 (7th), resulting in 4th and 2nd placings in the final. Kerstin's PB of 372 gave her the top score going through to the final, where excellent shooting from all competitors won her the bronze medal.
This gave us a total of 1 gold and 1 silver medal for Áedán, 2 silver medals for Jess and 2 bronze medals for Kerstin while in the team event in the Saturday, the 'Flowers of Scotland' - Katie Knowles, Kerstin Dodd and Kyla Dodd - each won a silver medal.
Many thanks to the shooters for taking part, their families for their help and support and the excellent organisation from Wales!
Report by Janis Thomson