Shooting: meet the Englishman who is out of retirement for the Games

Michael Gault, England's most successful Commonwealth games athlete, has been tempted out of retirement to compete at Burry Buddon this summer.

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Michael Gault
Michael Gault

With an impressive 17 Commonwealth medals to his name from five previous games, Gault will go after Australian shooter Peter Adams' record of 18 medals when he takes to the range in July.

Gault, a civil servant with the RAF in Norfolk, will be 60 when the games start and he will be drawing on a vast Games experience which spans two decades in hope that he can clinch that elusive 18th medal.

One of 14 named in the first wave of Team England's shooting team last week, he has been enticed back despite previously being adamant that the games in Dehli in 2010 would be his last.

The former RAF radar engineer picked up the first of his medal haul in Victoria, Canada, back in 1994 and has represented England at each games, adding a silver and bronze to his collection in Delhi.

A 10 metre Air Pistol champion at both the Kuala Lumpur games in 1998 and Manchester in 2002 Gault missed out at the London 2012 games but will hope to make up for that disappointment by becoming the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history.

Competing in the Small Bore Pistol discipline, his chances of adding to his collection will be made more difficult by the reduction in the number of events and changes in the scoring system.

At past Games, competitors would be able to carry their qualifying scores into the finals however they will now start again on zero. The finals themselves will take quicker rounds until two athletes are left to shoot for gold.

The changes are designed to make the sport more exciting for spectators with the adjustment in format now more closely resemble the Olympic shooting events.

Englishman Gault will not be the only experienced home nation shooter competing at Glasgow 2014 after Northern Ireland recently named David Calvert amongst their shooting team.

Calvert himself shares the same honour as Gault of being his nation's most successful Commonwealth athlete with four gold and four bronze to his name from the Full Bore Rifle singles and pairs events.

He will be attending a Commonwealth games for a staggering tenth time, having first competed in Edmonton back in 1978. His first medal success came at the Brisbane games in 1982 where he claimed bronze before going on to take gold in Victoria, Kuala Lumpur and then two in Manchester in 2002.

Northern Ireland also include Commonwealth medallist David Beattie in their team heading to this year's games. Beattie will bid to add to the Men's Trap silver he won at Melbourne in 2006.

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