Seonaid McIntosh is already Great Britain’s most successful female rifle shooter of all time – now she will get the chance to prove herself on the biggest stage.
The 24-year-old was one of four shooters named in Team GB’s squad for the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Games and, all being well, will make her Olympic bow this summer.
As the reigning world champion and world record holder, expectations are high.
The youngest member of the McIntosh clan is aiming to top the achievements of mother Shirley, coach and father Donald, and sister Jen, all of whom were international shooters, by winning the family’s first Olympic medal.
And in some ways, the disruption of the Covid pandemic and an extra year to prepare has helped.
“I found at the end of 2019 that I’d done quite a lot of stuff. It had been a successful year for me,” explains McIntosh, who is funded by The National Lottery on UK Sport’s World Class Programme.
Introducing the four shooters set for their Olympic debut this summer…🗼
Welcome to Team GB!
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“When last January rolled around, it was the Olympic year, I was getting quite nervous with the prospect of having been shooting really great and it being Olympic year.
“So in some ways this has helped me. That nervousness has dissipated, and I feel a lot better. I guess it will probably build up again in the next few months.
“I definitely could medal, assuming I put in a good performance on the day. I wouldn’t say it’s definite but it’s definitely a possibility.”
McIntosh is one of more than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s World Class Programme which is powered by National Lottery funding, allowing her to train full-time and have access to the world’s best facilities.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes have won 864 inspirational Olympic and Paralympic medals since its introduction in 1997.
There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty surrounding McIntosh. She has not competed since her birthday last March but she is taking everything in her stride. It is an approach that has served her well.
After all, the world number one has achieved so much already despite having rheumatoid arthritis, which requires constant medication and left her recovering on her sofa during the Rio 2016 Games.
She added: “That question is still there about will it or won’t it happen. But I guess I have to trust in the IOC and the BOA to make it happen if it is safe. If it’s not, I’d rather not go anyway.
“Knowing that, it’s quite easy knowing it’s not my decision and I put it in a different box and then get on with what I have to do.
“I like to think I’m good at dealing with pressure but I won’t know until I’m there really how I’ll handle that kind of pressure. I’m quietly confident.”
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