Student Competes in Kazan 2013
Sunday 22 September 2013
At half past five in the morning on Friday 5th of July myself, the other shooters and our coaches gathered in a surprisingly busy Heathrow terminal. In matching kit and tired expressions on our faces we certainly looked a team; we were the nine British students making up the Shooting contingent of the Great British team attending the World University Games in Kazan, Russia this summer. The World University Games is the second biggest sporting event in the world- only behind the Olympics!
The 27th World University Games in Kazan was attended by approximately 12000 athletes from 162 countries this summer. Athletes competed in 351 events in 27 sports- even including Chess! In the Great Britain delegation there was athletes from 9 sports.
When we arrived in Kazan we headed straight to the Athlete’s Village. Living in the Village for two weeks was definitely a highlight for me. The Village had everything we could ever want, and more! We were in a Great Britain building placed in the middle of all the action. Our rooms were kitted out like university dorms and after travelling for over a day and a half we went straight to bed. The next morning we went out to explore.
One of the best things about the Village was the free food 24 hours a day! The Food Hall was amazing, so much choice from every cuisine you could ask for- from a McDonalds to Halal or European, a Salad Bar, European, Asian or Pasta. As well as food there was Coca Cola fridges stocked full of soft drinks, water and sports drinks dotted around everywhere. I mean everywhere- the apartments, the Village and the range.
Also in the Village was an Athlete Zone. There were four giant inflatable igloo type things. And the inside of each one was fitted out in different themes, some with music pumping or games consoles waiting to be played. My favourite one had to be the one which was a Rainforest theme which comfy giant beds to chill out on, surrounded by plants and wood furniture.
Soon enough it was time to get down to business, which meant checking out the rifle ranges and training. Although the rifle range was barely finished it was a world class facility, built to ISSF (the international governing body for shooting) standards. The most important part of training was getting acclimatised- to both the range and the climate. Kazan was surprisingly hot, with most days being in the high 30s, we even had a couple of days as warm as 42 degrees!
My events were in the second week away so I was ready to shoot after a few days of training. I shot in the 10m Women's Air Rifle event and the 50m Women's Prone event. Air rifle was first, and I found the shoot to be long and hard work! Although indoors there was no air conditioning in case it interfered with shots. I wasn’t entirely happy with my shoot, but I shot to my recent form so I wasn’t too disappointed.
Then after a rest day and Pre Event Training it was on to my main event- the Prone. The Prone event is outside, so you also have to consider the conditions such as wind and light when you shoot. The day we had to shoot was very tricky- there was no consistency in the wind and was generally very hard to read. I shot a score of 583 out of 600, which would normally be an average score for me. So I came off the point relatively disappointed, but after speaking to my coach and watching the live results scroll in I was pleasantly surprised. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who found it difficult and I came 32nd out of 67. A result I was happy with as the WUGs was only my third senior event and I was competing against regular World Cup medallists and even Olympians!
Unsurprisingly Russia dominated the medal tables. They won 292 medals! There was a huge gap between Russia and number two on the table- Japan, who still won a very respectable 84. We were nowhere near that! But we were still really proud to win 6 medals, making us 37th on the table just behind Cuba. Really big well done to the athletes and teams who won our medals!
Overall my time in Kazan was amazing! It was such a great environment to be part of- the Village being a highlight where my team mates and I could have some great fun in! I loved being able to compete and represent my country at such a world class competition, and I’m quite proud of my results and how I managed myself throughout my shoots. My first multi-sport games will not be one I will soon forget!
If you want to see any pictures from my time in Kazan, or see more details then feel free to check out my blog posts here http://liquidgrain.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/world-university-games-so-far.html or http://liquidgrain.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/world-university-games-round-up_23.html Or like my Athlete profile page on Facebook!
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