Cobham Commonwealth shooting champion Parag Patel says his ability as a surgeon – including work at Kingston Hospital – is what makes him a cut above the rest, writes Jack Miller.
The 38-year-old brought his tally of Commonwealth medals up to six (three gold) with victory in Glasgow in the full-bore Queen’s Prize pairs alongside David Luckman, and third place in the individual event.
Patel works at Kingston and St George’s hospitals as a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon, and firmly believes his skills as a doctor enhance his rifle shooting.
“Being a surgeon and doing the kind of surgery I do, I think there are a number of transferable skills,” he said.
“For both, you have to have a level of concentration and dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and also a steady hand.
“All of those apply to shooting just as much as they do in the operating room.”
The pair led from start to finish in the two-day event, which saw Patel and Luckman contend with unfavourable conditions in Glasgow.
A sea mist at times almost completely obscured the targets in a stop-start competition, making the result even more satisfying, especially given the weight of expectation on the pair after winning the warm-up event last year.
He added: “I really enjoy the work I do which makes me grateful I can compete in the sport as an amateur.
“I’ll stop and focus my attention on my work and my family now, and then target the world team and individual championships next year.
“If it was an Olympic event my career would probably be shooting, so in a way I’m pleased it’s not.
“I’ve achieved everything I can in the sport and medalled in every event.”