Sharpshooter Jen is early medal hope for British team

Jen won gold at the Commonwealth Games
Jen won gold at the Commonwealth Games
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Sharpshooter Jen McIntosh will be aiming for Olympic Gold this Saturday as she bids to become the first Team GB member to win a medal at London 2012.

The 20-year-old from Shieldhill will compete in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle trials which are being held at The Royal Artillery Barracks in south-east London at 8.15 a.m.

And, with the event’s final starting at 11 a.m., Jen could potentially be a medal winner by lunchtime on the first day of the Olympics.

Target shooting is very much a family affair for the McIntoshs.

Dad Donald is Team GB’s head rifle coach and mum Shirley formerly held the Scottish women’s record for most medals won at a single Commonwealth Games - until Jen took that title for herself after winning two golds and a bronze at the Kuala Lumpur event in 2010.

Now Jen, who trains in Aberdeen, is ready to make the step up and go for Olympic gold.

“I hesitate to use the word nervous about the Games, but I would say I’m excited and that can come across sometimes as nervous,” she said.

“I’m very excited about it and quietly confident. I’ve been training hard and I’m just going to go 
out and do what I do.

“My dad is the GB coach so it’s his job to tell me things like what I need to work on. If he feels he knows something and needs to tell me, he does.

“I tend to be the one who goes to my mum.

‘‘It’s just a case of going in and saying ‘Mum, I need to speak to you. How do you go about this?’ or, if the media stuff is getting too much, it’s asking ‘how do I cope with this?’

“She has a huge amount of experience and is great at getting me to calm me down.”

Jen will also compete in the Women’s 50m Rifle Three Positions, commonly known as the 3x20m, which takes place next Saturday morning.

Despite her previous success, Jen is modest about her chances of winning a podium place.

“I haven’t set realistic goals – specific goals,” she said.

“Ideally, I’m looking to make a final in one of my events, so the top eight should go through to the final.

“Obviously a medal would be fantastic, but we’re aiming for a final and we will take it from there.”

Jen competes full-time as a markswoman, and has been supported by the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes in partnership with SportsAid.

This provides funding to 82 of Scotland’s most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond.