Falklands full-bore (7.62mm) rifle shooters Gareth Goodwin and Derek Pettersson established a new Falklands record in the Pairs event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Their combined score of 560 broke the previous record by a massive 22 points - previously set in Victoria, Canada 8 years ago by Ken Aldridge and Sue Whitney.
Their score also lifted them to a credible 15th position overall, their highest ever placing since first competing in the Commonwealth Games in 1982. 21 Countries took part in the event this time.
Amazingly both Falklands shooters scored 280, which also beat the previous individual record in the Pairs event, established by Stan Smith in Edinburgh in 1986, when he totalled 278.
Shooting over the difficult 900 and 1000 yards ranges both Falklands competitors scored consistently well. At 900 yards Gareth Goodwin recorded a total of 69, from a possible of 75, and Derek Pettersson scored 70. At 1000 yards Pettersson hit 68 and Goodwin 69.
Four years ago in Malaysia, Derek Pettersson had a dismal time in this competition, scoring 243. However on this occassion he bettered that score by a massive 37 points.
The faith in the Rifle Club Committee in selecting 22 year old Gareth Goodwin has been richley rewarded. His score of 280 ample evidence of his talent.
Northern Ireland overtook England on the final range to win the gold medal with a score of 590. David Calvert, a Royal Air Force officer who flew fighter aircraft in the Falklands several years ago scored 74 and 73 yesterday, for a total of 297 - great shooting. South Africa took the silver, 1 point behind, and England the bronze, a further point back.
The Falklands 15th place saw them finish ahead of many bigger Countries like Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Isle of Man and Malawi.
Monday is a rest day for the full-bore rifle shooters. On Tuesday they begin the first stage of the Individual competition, aiming to win gold, silver or bronze. Patrick Watts - Manchester
Patrick Watts - Manchester