Calling the shots

PUBLISHED: 12:05 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 15:01 12 May 2010

Chris Hector and Kathryn Pearson are preparing for their next challenge - Pic: Daniel Wilson

Chris Hector and Kathryn Pearson are preparing for their next challenge - Pic: Daniel Wilson

The Crow interview TOM BROWN meets shooting stars Chris Hector and Kathryn Pearson STEPPING over an impressive haul of trophies The Crow visited the British Air Shooting Champions at their home in Royston. And after being crowned at Bisley last month, Ch

The Crow interview

TOM BROWN meets shooting stars Chris Hector and Kathryn Pearson

STEPPING over an impressive haul of trophies The Crow visited the British Air Shooting Champions at their home in Royston.

And after being crowned at Bisley last month, Chris Hector and Kathryn Pearson have now fixed their targets firmly on a trip to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The win was particularly pleasing for Kathryn, who after appearing at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, has since been overlooked for the national squad.

But instead of slipping down the rankings, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength, and is now the women's number one.

Kathryn, who specialises in the 10m air pistol said: "I have beaten both the top-ranked women and have certainly put myself back in contention.

"It was the first major trophy I have won, so it's very pleasing - hopefully it will be the first of many."

Chris, 38, who competes with a 10m air rifle, described their win as a "fantastic coup" and said that it was rare for a couple to hold both titles.

He said: "It hasn't been done too many times, although there were the Coopers who did very well in the 1970s and 80s."

Chris was quick to share the plaudits and praised Kathryn for her win.

He said: "It was great seeing Kathryn win the trophy. She deserves it."

Kathryn added: "I won my title the day before Chris did, so I think he felt the pressure a little bit. It was a fantastic achievement for us both - although it was a nerve-wracking weekend."

The win means that Kathryn will represent Britain at the European Championships, and she was travelling to France with the squad yesterday (Wednesday).

She said: "It's an incredible honour to represent Britain at the championships.

"It's going to be very competitive, with some of the best shooters in the world taking part.

"But I'm confident I can do well, although I am slightly nervous.

"Chris has been involved in so many of these competitions, so he has been helping me prepare. He's been a great support."

Chris first appeared for the national team in 1987.

Since then he has competed in five successive Commonwealth Games, claiming a gold at the 2006 event held in Melbourne.

Now he is just one medal short of swimmer Karen Pickering's 13 medals.

The marksman is now hoping he can add to his growing trophy cabinet.

And he would like nothing more than to compete at the 2008 Olympics.

He said: "Selection for the Olympics is quite a complex process. Making the squad is very hard. At the moment I'm probably out of the selection, but I think that I can definitely get there.

"My aim is to compete in Beijing and I have a great chance of getting there if I do well at the .22 Shooting Championships in Granada in July.

"Ideally I would like us to both be there, and I think that is a realistic target to make, and that would certainly be Kathryn's next step."

The couple, who met while competing at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, train together in Cambridge and Bedford.

It is a winning combination they believe is one of the key factors behind their success.

Chris said: "We train together as much as we can, and we are always encouraging each other.

"There's no rivalry at all and you certainly wouldn't find us competing against each other in the garden!"

Kathryn added: "I think we train well together.

"I have learned so much from Chris. He's one of the best in the world at what he does - so you cannot fail to learn things."

With a busy timetable of competitions coming up, both Chris and Kathryn have the chance to further enhance their Olympic credentials. Eighteen months is a long time, and only time will tell if Royston's sharp-shooting couple can go from British champions to Olympic heroes.


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