Georgina Roberts: Welsh trap shooter targeting Italian Open gold and Commonwealth Games

By Gareth BaileyBBC Sport Wales
Georgina Roberts
Georgina Roberts trains in Powys, Wrexham and Cambridgeshire

Almost 16 months from her last international competition, Wales' trap shooter Georgina Roberts has set her sights on gold at the Italian Open.

The 24-year-old came first at the Malaga Grand Prix in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic halted her ambitions.

But Roberts, from Mold, is grateful for the resulting time off, and says it did "the world of good" to have a break.

"After that time off, I shot out of my skin and really fell in love with the sport again," Roberts said.

"My performance has gone through the roof and I'm really grateful that it put me in a position to shoot well.

"I'm feeling confident and happy where I am, weather conditions fantastic and looking forward to putting everything from practice into competition."

Roberts gained a place on the Great Britain world class programme which allowed her to continue training through the later stages lockdowns as it was classified as elite sport.

But with the return of international competition comes potential travel drama too.

"We nearly missed our flight because security took so long trying to get the shotguns over as a team," said Roberts.

"We were at the airport three hours before our flight, but still took that long to get the guns through."

While Roberts is aiming for top honours in Italy this weekend, she hopes a strong showing at the Umbriaverde range will cement her place at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

She shot 95 out of 100 to win the high gun competition in East Yorkshire last month, but hopes to improve that mark.

"The main reason I'm here is to shoot a score for consideration for the Commonwealths," said Roberts.

"The more I add to that [95 out of 100], the better.

"A score from this weekend would really cement my place and demonstrate I'm medal potential [for Birmingham]"

'The strongest and fittest' competitor

Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, Roberts said her running and work with Great Britain's junior shooters helps give her an edge in competitions.

"I like to know I'm the strongest and fittest person on the range," she said.

"That just gives me a mental edge on other competitors.

"It's just about making little goals, pushing myself a little further.

"My coaching has also benefited my own shooting.

"I don't want to be a hypocrite, everything I'm teaching them I'm doing myself."

The Italian Open consists of three rounds on Saturday, followed by two on Sunday and a potential final later in the day.

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