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Forres has a rifle target shooting star in Debbie Bexley (13) who won a gold and two silver medals at the British Open in her first major competition

By Craig Christie

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Forres Academy pupil Debbie Bexley is a shooting star in a sport she only took up eight months ago.

Debbie Bexley won three medals at her British Open debut.
Debbie Bexley won three medals at her British Open debut.

The 13-year-old started rifle target shooting last May with the Inverness-based Target Technique Club, and has developed a keen eye.

Her coaches were so impressed with her attitude and skill, they sponsored Debbie to compete in the British Open Airgun Championships in Bisley at the end of last month.

Apart from club events, Debbie had never taken part in shooting tournaments out with her own area so this was to be her 'away' debut.

Despite her relative inexperience, the youngster produced a fine performance to claim a gold medal and two silvers.

Forres sharp-shooter Debbie Bexley.
Forres sharp-shooter Debbie Bexley.

Target Technique Club coach Maria Maoileoin said Debbie only competed in three events and gained a medal in each.

"In the first she excelled her training personal best by a whopping 35 points for a score of 576.6," she said. "This is a huge feat, where the sport relies on being totally focussed and yet calm enough to lower the heart rate.

"In her subsequent matches she continued with her elevated scores, raking a medal haul of two silvers and a gold.

"The Championship match is unclassed and young Debbie was in there against many vying for Olympic quotas with many years of experience beyond her.

"Forres has produced some great pistol shooters in recent years. Debbie has achieved great results in rifle and for 13 years old and eight months experience is one to be watched for the future."

Target Technique Club has been commended by the National Small-bore Rifle Association for its standard of coaching and equipment, and is currently the only recognised performance club in Scotland attracting frequent members from as far as Surrey and Isle of Man.

Anyone interested in trying out the sport can do so at Forres Small-Bore Rifle Club, Elgin Rifle Club or at Target Technique in Inverness.

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