Dead-eye Daber in dilemma after GB call-up

Philip Daber   Picture: Malcolm Wells
Philip Daber Picture: Malcolm Wells
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HOT-SHOT Philip Daber toasted his Team GB call-up in universal trench clay-pigeon shooting, before admitting: I’m in a dilemma.

The multi-talented 18-year-old secured national representation and a trip to this week’s prestigious European Championship in Bordeaux by claiming British junior qualification glory in Rugby, Warwickshire.

But that milestone victory was swiftly followed by an equally-impressive bronze-medal showing in the more advanced Olympic trap discipline at the British Grand Prix in Bisley, Farnborough.

And the former Kingscourt School, Waterlooville, pupil, who hails from Hambledon, has conceded that he could now become a victim of his own success.

With Olympic aspirations, it is the aptly-named latter event that remains the long-term aim, but with a potentially lucrative sponsorship deal on the cards in the universal trench, Daber, who lives in France, has a tough decision to make on his future.

Reflecting on his GB call-up, he said: ‘It is great to know that you are going to shoot for your country and to be there with a flag on your back representing something.

‘To qualify for selection I had to attend three out of four qualification shoots and be ranked in the top-three places overall.

‘I went along (to Rugby) having already done that and sitting in first place in the GB rankings.

‘But I wanted to do all four qualifying shoots, just to be sure of my place.

‘I shot up against five juniors, who are all of a very good standard which kept the pressure on me.

‘Thankfully, I finished by winning the junior competition, which I am really happy about.’

Daber was equally delighted days later, though, when he claimed a British Grand Prix bronze medal in the Olympic trap at Bisley – on only this third ever shoot in the event.

His meteoric rise in the sport has left him with an enviable dilemma.

He explained: ‘I have only just started shooting Olympic trap, so to achieve bronze at junior level in the British Grand Prix on only my third shoot was great.

‘I have already been asked to go to Suhl in Germany to shoot Olympic trap in the Junior World Cup, which takes place next month.

‘Between the two events, Olympic trap is much harder, there are 15 clay machines but in universal trench there are only five.

‘I like shooting Olympic trap, though, and one day I would like to go to the Olympics.

‘I will carry on universal trench shooting because it is somewhere I reckon I could get big sponsorship and be given guns and stuff like that.

‘I have world championship ambitions, have just made team GB and the European Championships in Bordeaux this week.

‘But (going forwards) my involvement will not be as much as this year.

‘Because I live in France I have to come back and forth between countries, so it’s difficult.

‘In the future I believe I will concentrate on Olympic trap.’