11 Sep 2022
From High Performance Director, Jeff McCready
Debrief of the European Championships from High Performance Director, Jeff McCready:
"The European Championships in Cyprus were challenging to say the least for the Irish team of Aoife Gormally, Derek Burnett, Michael Ward & Wayne Byrne.
Conditions were searingly hot in the high 30’C daily, with at times a humidity to match. When shooting the uncovered Finals range it would be fair to describe things as brutal during the hottest part of the day. Wayne was scheduled to act as side referee following his round on the Finals range. As I took possession of his gun I was truly shocked at how hot the gun had become during the 25 odd minutes of his round on that open range. The metal parts were literally almost too hot to touch! Coping with conditions like this is one of the reasons why today's shooting athletes need to be physically fit and acclimatised. “Healthy body, healthy mind” is an appropriate phrase!
In Trap Women, Aoife finished tied 16th place on 111/125, which was 2 targets short of a top 12 place and the first round of ‘Quota places’ for next years European Games. The remainder of the Quotas for those Games in Poland will be decided by the year end European Rankings. I’m confident Aoife will qualify from that Ranking list. The first 2 Olympic Quotas for Paris 24 went to the gold & silver medalists in Cyprus, Silvana Stanco of Italy and young Lucy Hall of Great Britain who is still officially a Junior athlete.
In Trap Men, it’s fair to say Ireland had a disappointing competition. Best of the bunch was Mick, tied for 58th with 111/125. Wayne tied for 63rd with 110/125. Derek tied 80th with 107/125. The 2 Olympic Quotas went to the reigning Olympic Champion Jiri Liptak of Czech Republic and Rickard Levin-Andersson of Sweden.
Based on the results in Trap Men, I made a change to the Mixed Team for the next day, with Mick partnering Aoife. Ireland finished that competition in 25th place (in this event each country is permitted to have 2 Teams)
Trap Team Men competition was next up (all 3 athletes) with Derek having his best run of the week for 70/75, the Team finishing in 16th place.
Without doubt there was much to reflect on after Cyprus. But I’m very much a half full person and already I’m looking towards the World Championships in Croatia at the end of September. For sure there’s work to be done but then again there always is…for every Country & all athletes. Ireland will have the same Team competing in Croatia. There are 4 Olympic Quota’s up for grabs in each of the individual competitions. A tough ask, as realistically it will require a Top 4 finish. But we will be there and everybody will give it their very best effort, that I’m sure of!"
Jeff McCready, Performance Director & Head Coach, Ireland.