Heriot-Watt University student Seonaid McIntosh has enjoyed a blistering start to the shooting season as she targets her Olympic dream.
The teenager, who was inspired to take up the sport after watching her multi-medal winning older sister Jennifer compete at London 2012, bagged two gold medals and a silver in the 10m Junior Women’s Air Rifle at this month’s Intershoot in Holland. And an identical tally in December’s RIAC international in Denmark gives her plenty reasons to be cheerful ahead of the European 10 metre Championships in Arnhem from March 2-8.
“It’s a good start to the season and gives me a confidence boost going into the bigger competitions like the Europeans in two weeks’ time,” said the 18-year-old. “It gives me a good opportunity to shoot the scores I need to qualify for the World Cups and also to get into finals.”
Despite mother Shirley and sister Jennifer both being multiple Commonwealth Games medallists, while father Donald was a Team Scotland competitor in the 2002 Games, Seonaid didn’t take up the sport until her teens.
The mechanical engineering student added: “Shooting has always been on my mind because I grew up around shooters but, apart from a bit of shooting at school with the cadets, I didn’t do it because it was something my sister did and I didn’t want to copy her.
“But, when I saw what she did at the Olympics, I knew then that this was something I wanted to do, so I asked my Dad if I could try it.
“He gave me his old air rifle and I took it seriously since November 2012.”
Seonaid, the youngest shooter in Team Scotland at last summer’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, added: “My future hope is to go to the Olympics. I’m not sure about Rio as it’s so close, but I’m definitely aiming for Tokyo 2020.
“I would definitely like to medal in an Olympics and at a Commonwealth Games to keep up the family tradition.”
• SEONAID McINTOSH is one of 150 students supported by Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships for athletes. Through the programme she receives funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies.