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‘I gave it my all’: Kirsty Hegarty happy with performance despite missing out on Olympic final

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Great Britain's Kirsty Hegarty. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Great Britain's Kirsty Hegarty. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

PA

Great Britain's Kirsty Hegarty. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Kirsty Hegarty insisted there was no regrets after she failed to make the women’s trap shooting final in Tokyo.

The 32-year old from Craigavon admitted a high quality qualifying round, in which only the top six progressed, was always going to be a stretch.

She shot 116 to finish 16th and will now reset her focus on the mixed team event, where she’ll compete for Matt Coward-Holley, the world and European champion who bagged bronze in the men’s trap competition.

“I’m happy with the performance. It was very solid and consistent, I gave it all my all and I couldn’t have done anything differently because I put my heart and soul into it,” said Hegarty.

“The top score is 125, a qualification world record, that’s never been shot by a female shooter before. 120 is the lowest score in the final – that’s ridiculously high. No event this year or last year has had a cut-off that high.

“Everyone else just shot really well and I didn’t have those one or two bits of luck you need to get that little bit more.”

Hegarty first burst onto the international scene with victory at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Delhi in 2010 – a test event for the Commonwealth Games.

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But it took another eight years for her prominence to really grow on the world stage, as the then-29-year-old claimed trap Commonwealth silver on the Gold Coast and the European Championships in Leobersdorf.

A bronze medal in the mixed team trap event at the World Championships – alongside Aaron Heading – followed later that same year, while in 2019 Hegarty finished second at the Al Ain World Cup, subsequently earning Team GB an Olympic quota place for the Tokyo Games.

However, she claimed she managed the nerves of the big occasion - as well as the sweltering conditions in Tokyo, with the mercury nudging 30 degrees and humidity making life uncomfortable.

“I thought I was going to be really nervous," he said.

"I thought that it was going to feel different to another competition, it certainly does in the Village but on the range, it’s been fine.

“The team has been great, really supportive. It won’t be until I get home and reflect upon the experience that I’ll say, ‘that was a pretty big deal’.

“It’s been great. I’ve never really considered shooting to be an athletic sport – you see your athletics people, your tennis people, and to be among them and be on the same level as Team GB Olympians, that’s been great.”

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