Seonaid McIntosh: Scot aims to mark her Olympics debut with medal

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland
Seonaid McIntosh won two Commonwealth bronze medals on the Gold Coast in 2018
Seonaid McIntosh won two Commonwealth bronze medals on the Gold Coast in 2018

Seonaid McIntosh hopes "pointers" from older sister Jennifer - a two-time Olympian - can lead to a medal on her debut in Tokyo this summer.

The 24-year-old Scottish shooter is among the first selections in Team GB for the rescheduled 2020 Games.

And McIntosh, who became world champion in 2018 and world number one the following year, has been tapping into the experience of her family.

"I'd love to win a medal, that would be awesome," she said.

"Everybody goes in wanting to win gold. Obviously the pressure of an Olympics is so much higher than any other competition I've shot. So if I can put in a good performance I'll be really happy."

The McIntosh family is steeped in experience of elite competition. Seonaid is coached by dad Donald, while her sister Jennifer represented Team GB at London 2012 and Rio four years later and has five Commonwealth Games medals, one more than mum Shirley.

"I've spoken to my sister, obviously she's got way more experience than I do, and she's given me some pointers," Seonaid added.

"Commonwealth Games, because of all the family stuff, is also huge but she's told me the Olympics are very different. So I'm taking advice from her and just going with the flow.

"Dad already knew [about the Olympic selection]. My sister is kind of my boss now so she already knew as well. They're all really happy and proud."

McIntosh says confirmation of her Olympics spot is a welcome relief more than two years after she achieved the qualification standard, but admits a lack of preparation could be a problem.

She has not competed since last March, because of the coronavirus pandemic, and may not have another event before Tokyo.

"If the Olympics is the first competition, you've no idea how everybody else is going to react, how they have been training," she added.

"This is the longest I've been in the country since I was a small child.

"In the first lockdown I wasn't able to train, I just had to stay at home and work on my fitness. I'm a student at Edinburgh University now and they've been really helpful in giving me support and keeping the venue open for me to train."