On the 23-25 November STS Performance Pistol athlete, Jess Liddon, flew out to Szekszard, south of Budapest, in Hungary to compete in the Hungarian Open, an international air gun competition.
The event attracted 16 nations from Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Moldovia, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Ukraine. Thanks goodness ISSF first language is English! There was 10m air rifle 10m running rifle, and 10m air pistol events with strong junior representation.
Jess competed in two 10m Air Pistol events and in her first match she came 3rd in qualification. She was shooting next to Zorana Arunovic from Serbia, the current European Champion. Zorana shot 587 on Day 1 which equals the qualification score World Record so Jess did a great job keeping pace against such strong competition.
The final kicked off and Jess had a fantastic start with 49.2 in the first 5 shots and then a straight row of 10’s in the second 5 shots, putting her in the lead. By the 16th shot she was 2.7 ahead of Arunovic.
Unfortunately, a couple of weaker shots nearing the end meant she ended with 4th place after a very competitive and tightly fought final.
The second match on Sunday saw the influx of some fantastic juniors from Korea, pushing the qualification score up meaning Jess just missed out on the final, finishing in 9th place. Zorana went on to also win the final day 2 also.
The competition was a great experience for Jess and a brilliant chance for the new STS pistol coach, Sonal Gyorik-Ramendra (more on this to come but pictured below with Jess and her husband Csaba), to watch Jess in competition. Sonal will be coming to Scotland and we are looking forward to her not just working with Jess but helping our other pistol athletes and our pistol coaches develop.
Report & Pictures by Tim Liddon