England ended the shooting programme with a golden flourish today as Richard Brickell won the singles skeet title and Parag Patel claimed victory in the singles full bore open event, where he and Jon Underwood also won bronze in the pairs.
Two misses at crucial points almost saw Brickell lose his grip on gold, but he came through to claim what he described as his “best personal achievement”.
The 34-year-old office manager from Newbury, who won pairs silver at the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and pairs bronze four years before that in Manchester, had the gold within his grasp with only his last pair of targets to come.
But he missed one of the birds, allowing Georgios Achilleos of Cyprus, who had begun the day leading after shooting a perfect 75 in the first part of the competition, to draw level on 144 points and force a shoot-out.
When Brickell was the first to miss a bird he feared the worst – but his opponent also missed one with his next shot, and another failure allowed the Briton to complete his Commonwealth gold-silver-bronze collection.
“I am absolutely delighted, over the moon,” said Brickell. “It was a real tough one as everybody here is superb and you saw how close the game was.
“I was a bit unlucky with that first miss. I was certainly hoping for the gold until something massive went wrong.
“When I missed one in the shoot out I was hoping he would also miss one, and luckily he did.
“I was very nervous in front of a huge crowd, the media and the cameras. But I kept my cool and finally did it.
“I knew I had the ability to get gold but it is always difficult when you are competing against the best. So I just stuck to the basics and left the rest to God.”
The battle for the minor medal was tight as well, with the man whom Brickell partnered to the pairs bronze, Clive Bramley, involved in a three-way shoot out with Scotland’s Drew Christie and Andreas Chasikos of Cyprus which eventually saw him finish in fifth place.
Patel finished the singles with a Games record score of 398, and with Jon Underwood, 26th in the singles with 374, he combined to score 684 to claim bronze in the pairs event.
Mike Babb, a silver medallist with Richard Wilson in the yesterday’s 50m rifle prone pairs, finished one place outside the medals in the individual event.
Babb, who is in charge of grocery delivery at a Sainsbury’s store near Coventry, nearly managed to put another medal in his basket, but finished one shot adrift of third-placed Matthew Hall of Northern Ireland with 592 points in an event won by Scotland’s Jonathan Hammond in 595.
Neil Stirton of Scotland and Northern Ireland’s Gary Duff recorded the same total as Babb, but scored fewer inners.
Julia Lydall reached the singles 10m air pistol final, finishing seventh with 374 as Pei Ng took gold for Malaysia with 383.