Commonwealth Games 2002
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Shooting Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Islands full of shooting stars
Peter Jory
Peter Jory hopes to continue Guernsey's fine tradition
Two of the smallest Commonwealth members competing in Manchester are both aiming for shooting glory this summer.

The Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey have both enjoyed more than their fair share of success in the event in recent years.

Between them, they have won seven shooting medals in 20 years - and both struck gold at the Auckland Games of 1990.

That year, Guernsey's Adrian Breton triumphed in the men's rapid fire pistol while Jersey's Colin Mallett won the men's fullbore rifle.

Guernsey's Commonwealth shooting medals
1994: Bronze - Men's rapid fire pistol team
1990: Gold - Adrian Breton (rapid fire air pistol)
1986: Silver - Adrian Breton (rapid fire air pistol)
1982: Silver - Matthew Guille (air rifle)
1982: Bronze - Charles Trotter (fullbore)

Both islands are keen, but friendly rivals, and put their success down to different factors - but the long-term presence of military garrisons undoubtedly played a big part in the sport's development.

Jersey's team captain Cliff Mallett, father of Colin, said: "Shooting here goes back to the Jersey rifle association which was formed in 1861.

"The Victoria College cadet force in particular played an important role."

But the standard of facilities on the island, and the prestige of the level shooters compete at has helped turn those historical foundations into modern-day success.

Mallett Sr added: "It's a big participation sport now. The ranges here are very good for all the different disciplines.

"There are 17 different shooting associations on the island and what's good is that so many youngsters are involved.

"There are competitions held every week, and the standard is so high, different children win all the time.

"There are plenty of other popular sports on the island but, in terms of competing at a high level internationally, we are near the top."

The rifle range at Fort Le Marchant on Guernsey was also originally built for the island's cadet force.

Jersey's Commonwealth shooting medals
1990: Gold - Colin Mallett (fullbore)
1990: Bronze - Men's fullbore team

Guernsey's shooting team manager for the Games, Adam Jory, does not put the success down to the sport's popularity - instead it is practice that makes perfect.

"We haven't got the facilities for that - but most of our members shoot every week as they live two miles away from the range at worst.

"It's not the same in, say, England where most people live a lot further away."

This summer Nick Mace and Peter Jory will shoot for Guernsey in the fullbore rifle, and Darren Burkinshaw in the smallbore.

Hopes are high as Mace finished fourth in the World Championships last year, while Jory was fourth in the Grand Aggregate - the equivalent of a British championship.

In contention

For Jersey, Colin Mallett tries for another gold in the fullbore after finishing fourth in Kuala Lumpur. He is joined by David Le Quesne, while Kevin Degruchy goes in the smallbore.

Jory feels the fullbore in particular is wide open: "We've got a good chance. It's like the Grand National - 40 start and 20 can effectively get gold.

"It depends on the weather and how you cope on the day - you can't pick favourites."

Mallett Sr believes his son is in contention again but agrees it is something of a lottery.

He added: "He's still shooting well and is definitely in with a shout but you do need a little bit of luck to win it."

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14 Jun 02 | Shooting
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