Veteran is on top of the world

CHRIS LAKEY Retired builder John Dyson is celebrating after cleaning up a golden double at the world clay target shooting championships.The 58-year-old claimed gold in the veterans' section at the World FITASC Sporting Championship in Prague - a victory which more than made up for his loss of the European crown in France.

CHRIS LAKEY

Retired builder John Dyson is celebrating after cleaning up a golden double at the world clay target shooting championships.

The 58-year-old claimed gold in the veterans' section at the World FITASC Sporting Championship in Prague - a victory which more than made up for his loss of the European crown in France.

He was also part of the GB trio which took away team gold.

In a field of more than 1,000 marksmen, Dyson - from Lynford, neat Thetford - finished nine targets clear of his nearest rivals after four days of competition.

Competitors went into the woods in the grounds of the Konopiste estate, 40 kilometres outside of the Czech capital, twice a day over four days, with 200 sporting targets in their sights.

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Dyson emerged top with a score of 155, with GB team-mate John Bidwell second on 146.

But Dyson is convinced the scores should have been higher.

"Not many of us were happy with our scores," he explained. "They were well down on what we expected because the organisers were using eco-friendly targets which were very hard to break. When we had a look, some of them had 10 or 15 holes in them, but were still not broken.

"I came third in the Europeans with a score of 182 so you can see the difference. Everyone's scores were down."

The cumulative scores of Dyson, Bidwell and Peter Morgan earned them gold in the vets' team event for GB, ahead of France and the USA.

Dyson's golden weekend helped make up for the loss of his European vets title, which he won in Lake Garda in Italy last year but lost in France earlier this summer.

"It is more than ample compensation for that," said Dyson. "It's a good feeling, especially after the way I lost the European. I shot really badly - I think I came last overall and everyone thought I had lost it.

"I had to get some special glasses made because I couldn't see the targets, which were in dark areas of trees - I took them to Prague but luckily didn't need them."

Shooting has been in his blood for more than 35 years now, with Dyson competing in the world championships "on and off" for the past 20 years, with silver and bronze finishes to his name. He has held most of the major British titles and in 2000 held all of the eight Norfolk titles on offer.