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World title joy for shooting star Carl

Thatcham marksman clinches gold medal in Rome

Liam Headd

Liam Headd


01635 886629

World title joy for shooting star Carl

The Great Britain team of , from left, Glyn Barker, Andy Stratford and Carl Miles

CARL Miles struck gold at the Helice World Championships in Rome.

The Thatcham marksman, who is a building company director in his family firm Miles Contractors Ltd, based in Headley, was part of a three-man team that won a shootout against Italy to clinch victory in the Match of Nations.

And it was Miles who held his nerve to hit the winning shot and spark the celebrations.

Helice is similar to clay pigeon shooting, except the target is attached to a pair of plastic wings, which means it flies in erratic fashion, particularly in windy conditions.

The best marksmen from GB, Argentina, USA, Egypt, France, Hungary, Czech Republic and Italy took part.

Miles said: “Rome, I hold dear. It is where I first shot for Great Britain in the 2012 World Championship.

“Returning now as a GB senior team member I knew very well we were up against some of the very best shooters around the world.

“Each team consists of three shooters and the teams vary from year to year.

“This was my second cap for GB this year having made the senior team to compete in the European championships held at Messina, Sicily in June, where  we won silver  in tough conditions as the weather was very hot.”

The world championships  were held at the Tiro O Volo Lazio in Rome, a very old established ground that lies along the bank of the river Tiber.

Each of the three team members had 10 shots and, after a closely-fought contest, GB and Italy tied, leading to a shootoff for gold.

The first two GB shooters – Glyn Barker and Andy Stratford – both hit both of their targets, while the Italians missed two of their first four shots.

Miles said: “All I had to do was hit my first target to secure the gold medal for Great Britain, so no pressure.

“I had said a little prayer before my turn and remained relatively calm considering – I called for my target and smashed it.

“The gold was ours, while silver went to Italy and bronze to Egypt.

“It was such a great feeling, if a little surreal, but when you stand on the podium as senior world champions with the national anthem playing there is simply nothing better.”

Miles will now be looking to qualify for the European Helice Championships in Sarlopuszta, Hungary, and the World Championships in Cairo, Egypt, next year.

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