Fresh from a successful performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Seonaid McIntosh (FP 2014) went on to compete at the ISSF World Shooting Championships in South Korea earlier this month.
Her first event was the Air Rifle Mixed Team competition: ‘It is neither my strongest nor my favourite event,’ commented Seonaid, and she treated it largely as a warm-up match for the coming individual events and was happy with her performance.
In Day Three’s Prone Elimination round, competitors shoot under timed conditions, aiming only not to be eliminated. She went through to the next round, and ended up 2nd in her relay. When the individual scores were added up for this event, Great Britain (comprising Seonaid, her sister Jen McIntosh (FP 2009) and Zoe Bruce from England) won the bronze.
Day Four brought the prone final and Seonaid knew that she was in reach of a medal. After she shot, she turned around to see ‘a large group of British people (and others) behind me all grinning’. Seonaid knew she had a medal, but she had to wait until the end to discover that, in fact, she had just earned the title of World Champion in this event.
Seonaid’s goal in South Korea was to win an Olympic quota place for Tokyo 2020, so she wasn’t finished yet…
Day Six brought another elimination round, and Seonaid was disappointed in her performance but learned a great deal from the experience. Day Seven: The Big One, the final competition. As reigning European Champion in the event, she knew she could do it but was ‘more nervous than I have ever been in my life. I have extremely high expectations of myself in the standing position. It’s my favourite of the three and when I get it right it’s phenomenal.’
In the final, the scores are reset to zero and each competitor has to shoot in each of the three positions once again. After the kneeling, Seonaid was in second place. With three shots to go in standing, she was in third place. In the end, however, Seonaid’s good friend from Croatia, Snjezana Pejic beat her to the bronze medal. Although she was devastated not to medal, she did earn a quota place for the Tokyo Games. Seonaid’s first world championships can be counted a huge success.