LORRAINE LAMBERT has moved a giant step closer to securing her Paralympic dream.
The Milton shooter stormed to success at the IPC Shooting World Cup in Croatia to close in on a place in the Rio Games next year.
All I can do now is stay on the selectors’ radar.Lorraine Lambert
A bronze in the women’s 50m rifle three positions SH1 category, with a 430-point total, was a highlight for Lambert.
The 42-year-old also went on to win team silvers in the R2 and R3 sections in a competition to remember.
Her performance, following on from two silvers and a gold at the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships in Canada earlier this year, was enough to earn Lambert a quota place for the Paralympics.
That means she is now firmly in the selectors’ sights, with the final decision on who travels to Brazil made next year.
Lambert was delighted to upset the party in Osijek, with the Koreans and Chinese expected to dominate.
But she had to overcome searing heat – with temperatures topping 42 degrees Celsius.
Lambert said: ‘It was very challenging out there, but I was pleased with how it went.
‘It was 42 degree heat – and felt hotter. It wasn’t for the faint-hearted at all.
‘You have to be driven, want to succeed and have that extra spark.
‘The Chinese and Koreans just come out for the qualifiers and try to take the medals.
‘I upset their plans a bit by taking one off them, and they were asking who I was!
‘I’ve done all I can. All I can do now is stay on the selectors’ radar.
‘You win a quota place, and it then it goes to the national governing body who have the final say next year.’
Lambert has focused on bringing a versatility to her shooting as she maintains a heavy training schedule.
As well as standing and prone disciplines, she also competes in the R8 section – a three-position category.
Lambert feels that can only aid her Paralympic hopes.
She said: ‘I shoot four disciplines and I’m one of the few athletes in the country to do that many.
‘I’m standing myself in good stead seeing as I compete and succeed in so many events.
‘I haven’t got one event stronger than the other, although I prefer R8 because I like the three positions.
‘That’s at 50m outdoor with wind and other variables, which make it challenging.
‘To be able to switch it up a bit and cope with different things will hopefully help.’
Lambert’s family support is proving key in her big to make it to Rio,
But she explained she is still on the lookout for backing to help support the sport’s significant financial undertaking.
Lambert said: ‘It’s been a rollercoaster.
‘But I’ve been able to pick up medals and have been pleased with that.
‘Funding is tricky and I’m always looking for sponsors.
‘We have to cover kit and ammunition, and, when you are looking at £3,500 for an air rifle, it isn’t cheap.
‘I train four out of seven days, pretty much, sometimes five.
‘I couldn’t do it without my family.
‘My son, husband, mum and sister really back me.’