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Surbiton's Bamsey ready to take aim for gold in Australia
Surbiton shooter Michael Bamsey is not heading to the Australian Youth Olympic Festival to simply make up the numbers.
Bamsey has no problem in keeping a steady hand when firing for Britain, having competed at the official London 2012 Olympic test event – also an ISSF World Cup event – where he finished 64th in the 10m air rifle.
Add that to further appearances in ISSF World Cup events in Milan and Munich, and former Hollyfield School pupil Bamsey has grown confident that he can handle the pressure – and the heat – Down Under.
And, having rubbed shoulders with the world’s best over the past 12 months, the 19-year-old is determined not to leave the Sydney International Shooting Centre empty handed.
“I have been thinking about the competition for quite a while but I just didn’t know if I was young enough to be selected,” said Bamsey.
“But, thankfully, I have been, so that was a huge relief and getting the kit was great as it was the point where the whole trip became real.
“I just can’t wait to get out there now. This competition is definitely a stepping stone in the right direction with it being an Olympic competition and everything that comes with it.
“I shot at the Olympic test event, which was actually my first World Cup, and that was a great one to make my debut in.
“The first time I shot for Great Britain it was pretty nervy, but it doesn’t bother me that much anymore and it is same old, same old for me now.
“Everyone is heading there to win and I am no different. I am not going all that way to lose.”
Bamsey is one of 120 British athletes selected to compete in Sydney where he will take to the range in the men’s 50m rifle three positions, 10m air rifle and 50m rifle prone positions.
And, with aspirations of competing at the Olympics Games proper next time around, Bamsey believes the multi-sport event is a perfect stepping stone on his way to achieving such a dream.
“The main thing I get out of it is the experience because there are not many people who get that experience and it really helps you deal with it,” he added.
“Being at a multi-sport event and living in an athlete’s village are the sort of experiences that should help me further down the line and I just hope to produce my best.”
* The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. Visit olympics.org.uk