A YOUNG clay-pigeon shooter has got the Great Britain team on red alert following his excellent performance at the Olympic Trap British Grand Prix last weekend.
Philip Daber, 17, showed he is an exciting talent after coming second in the junior section and 10th overall at the event in Beverley, Yorkshire.
The former Kingscourt School pupil, who hails from Hambledon, was up against Olympians in a field of more than 130.
It was also Daber’s first attempt at the Olympic trap instead of his usual universal trench category.
He finished with an impressive points total of 183 out of 200 and shot two 25 maximums on the first day of the two-day event.
Rounds of 25, 21, 23 and 25 saw him make a shoot-off with London 2012 Olympian Edward Ling, which he won.
He followed it up with three rounds of 22 and a 23.
‘I’m really pleased with my performance because I finished second the first time I’ve ever shot the Olympic trap,’ he said.
‘I finished 10th out of 132 people – including Olympians – and was only eight points off the winner.
‘I was tied with Ed Ling on Saturday so we went to a shoot off and he missed his first shot and I didn’t.
‘I was so happy with the score. It was the first time I’d ever done a shoot-off, I was shocked.’
However, a couple of slip ups the next day saw him fall behind his main opponents, including Ling, who finished fourth overall with a score of 188.
The winning score came from England’s Commonwealth gold medallist Aaron Heading, who made 191.
Nathan Hales, another promising youngster, took the junior gold medal with a score of 186, just three ahead of Daber.
‘Olympic trap is much faster than I’m used to, it’s the hardest discipline you can get because it’s an Olympic discipline,’ said Daber.
Daber’s performance has certainly turned heads around the Great Britain camp with several people asking for his number and contact details.
As a result, Daber is attending the trial shoot for Team GB this weekend at Nuthampstead.
He said: ‘It’s good for people to see me. I’m not there to win medals, I’m there to learn because it’s my first year doing the Olympic trap.
‘The next few years will be a learning curve and then I’m going to go for the Olympics in 2020.’
Daber only took up shooting two years ago and was taught by Trevor Trenchard, from Froxfield.
He focused on clay pigeons a year ago but has already enjoyed great success.
He won the prestigious Mid Pyrenees Clay Pigeon Shooting Championship in France last year and finished runner-up in the same competition this year.
He also competed in the European Championships in Portugal earlier this summer.