Silver lining for Heading at Commonwealth Games

Aaron Heading (left) with Adam Vella (centre) and Manavjit Sandhu
Aaron Heading (left) with Adam Vella (centre) and Manavjit Sandhu
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Long Sutton shooter Aaron Heading lost his Commonwealth title on Tuesday but admitted he was relieved to get a medal.

The 27-year-old was joint first with Australian Michael Diamond after the second qualifying stage of the men’s trap in Carnoustie, scoring 72 points out of a possible 75.

But it was another Aussie, Adam Vella, who went on to pip him to the gold medal.

Vella, who hit all 15 targets during the semi-finals, was also in fine form to pip Heading 11-9 in the high-pressure final.

Heading had missed just one target, the third, in the semi-finals but could hit just three of the opening six when it really mattered in the final as Vella literally shot into the lead.

The Aussie, who had scraped into the semi-finals, began superbly in the final where he hit his first nine targets but then missed three in a row as Heading reduced the arrears to two shots.

Vella regained his form to hit the next two targets to clinch the gold medal.

Heading was still full of smiles and happy with the silver medal.

He said: “If someone had said to me beforehand: ‘Aaron, do you want to go home with silver?’ then, with the way I’ve been training, I’d have taken their hands off.

“I’m relieved that I’ve got a medal. Maybe I’m a little bit disappointed because I didn’t get the one I wanted but silver’s still great.”

Team England and British Shooting enjoyed a fantastic Games and Heading would love to see more people taking an interest in target shooting.

Heading, who followed his father John into the sport and became an international at the age of 12, added: “Shooting is a fantastic sport and for those who don’t follow it, I’ve got one thing to say – it is!”