Bildeston clay pigeon shooter Aaron Harvey celebrated being crowned British Junior Sportrap champion with his first England call-up.
The 17-year-old admitted it was ‘a dream come true’ to carry off the trophy and gold medal at the British Open at Garlands Shooting Ground in Tamworth, Staffordshire, at the weekend – despite it only being his second year since taking up the sport.
And it was not the only prize, as a few days later it was confirmed on Tuesday he had been selected for the England Junior squad to compete in next year’s international in Floridia, USA, with the championships acting as one of two national qualifiers.
“It was a dream come true and I could not have asked for better targets,” said Harvey of his first outing at the British Open. “The British Open was not even on my list of things to achieve this year as I knew there were so many top juniors who have more experience.
“My coach and I knew I was capable though.”
The former Hadleigh High School pupil admitted breaking his personal best of 93 out of 100 clays at the World English Sporting contest in April at Grange Farm in Leicestershire in the run-up to the nationals provided just the boost he needed.
“It gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “Before I got 96 I had not fired many big rounds and the confidence came flooding back after that.”
But the title was far from a walk in the park, with Harvey being tied on 83 out of 100 clays with another competitor, forcing a shootout decider.
But he managed to put in a breathtaking display of accuracy to claim the title, with 20 out of 25 hit, equalling the shootout score of 23-times world champion George Digweed, who followed him.
“It was very tense but I just keep my cool and came through it, taking every clay as it came,” said the Philip Thorrold Shooting Academy member of Friday’s competition.
He followed it up on the next day with the silver medal in the sporting event, while also being awarded bronze in his A class.
It added to a growing collection of trophies this season which has also seen Harvey win four county junior titles as well as his first Suffolk senior title, in the automatic ball trap.