Sharp shooter Joe Emmott hit the target on his international debut after helping Great Britain to a fifth place finish in the European FITASC Compak Championships.
The 46-year-old clay pigeon shooter fired 188 at the competition in San Martino Rio Salso di Tavullia, Italy, just 10 short of individual victor George Digweed.
Emmott, from Barrowford, has been competing since his teens and earned his call-up after taking gold at the British Open at Suffolk’s Hepworth Hall in March before scooping silver at the British Grand Prix event in Sussex a month later.
“We’ve done pretty well,” he said. “Out of 32 European countries we came fifth. It’s the first time Great Britain has entered a team at that level of competition. It was a stunning result really. The whole event of FITASC Compak has been going for 19 years so it’s well established. We’re happy with the result.”
He added: “Individually I got the 10th highest score in a field of more than 300 competitors. I shot 188 and the winner had 198 so I was very happy to have finished so close to the champion.
“He is considered the El Supremo of clay pigeon shooting and has 20 World and European championships under his belt so to be 10 below that man is a phenomenal achievement. I’ve learned a lot from the experience. I feel this will help me improve and move forward. I’ll be back next year.”
Emmott will now travel to Madrid, Spain, for the World Championships in a bid to better his 37th place finish last year.