Sharp shooter Hutcheon sets sights on Olympics

James Hutcheon in action.

James Hutcheon in action.

First published in General Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

A BAUGHURST teenager has his sights set on the Olympics after winning an international air rifle shooting event.

James Hutcheon, who is 16 and lives in Heath End Road, won individual gold in the 10 metre standing discipline at a junior international match held at Bisley, in Surrey. His efforts also helped Great Britain to win the team event.

After four rounds of shooting, Hutcheon sat second – but he upped his game in the final round, hitting the bullseye with five of his 10 shots to move into first place.

“I had competed in the British Championships in the past but this was the biggest competition I had ever taken part in, so I was really pleased to win,” the former Clere Community College pupil said. “I was hoping that I might be able to win but it went really well on the day. I thought I had been outshot so it was a really nice surprise when I found out I had won.”

Hutcheon has now moved up to the senior ranks, which involves using a heavier gun and special clothing that prevents the shooter’s body from moving.

In order to reach Olympic standard, Hutcheon will probably need to post scores of 590 out of 600 on a regular basis. His current best is 563 but he says that reaching the pinnacle of the sport is an achievable aim.

“The senior kit allows you to get higher scores but it takes some getting used to,” he said. “Training is going well though and hopefully I can get to the level I need to.

“The Olympics is definitely the aim. Rio might come around a bit too soon for me but I am hoping to make the 2018 Commonweath Games and then the Olympics in 2020.”

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