Shooter Gault to retire

  • Last Updated: July 28 2014, 11:38 BST

Shooter Michael Gault's bid to become the outright most successful Commonwealth athlete of all time is over after he missed out on a place in the final of the 50m air pistol.

Michael Gault: Will retire after a glittering career
Michael Gault: Will retire after a glittering career

The 60-year-old grandfather from Norfolk, competing at his sixth Games, had drawn level with fellow shooter Phillip Adams on Saturday when he won his 18th medal, taking bronze in the 10m discipline.

Gault said afterwards that he had achieved what he came out of retirement for, and that he would be 'chillaxing' when he stepped back on to the range for Monday's event.

And, despite shooting a competitive total of 529 from his six rounds, he bowed out of the competition in 13th place.

Afterwards Gault confirmed he would be hanging up his gun competitively, ruling out another tilt at a 19th medal in Australia in four years.

"I wanted to give it a little bash and try to get the all-time record," he said.

"But unfortunately the bullets I used wouldn't go into the middle of the target. They kept flying into the nine ring, or sometimes the eight!

"It was a case of not enough 10s today. It's a shame. I was trying - I wasn't too chillaxed. I gave it my best shot but my body was telling me it's time to pack up. My legs are burning and I've got a trapped nerve in my back, so it's time to call it a day."

Gault does want to stay involved in shooting, however, and hopes to take up a coaching role.

He also revealed he would dedicate Saturday's record-equalling bronze to Parkinson's UK, with his wife Janet suffering from the disease.

"I've sacrificed the family a bit, going away from home twice a week to train, leaving my wife on her own," he added. "The last year has been pretty bad. My mum got cancer and then Janet got pneumonia.

"The amount of effort I've put in - I've got 40 years of experience behind me, I've shot millions of rounds and hit millions of 10s. The actual sacrifices have been tremendous - we haven't had a holiday in 20 years, so we'll have one now.

"The wife has told me this is definitely the last one. I've put myself through an awful lot and Janet's frightened I might have a heart attack.

"But it was worth it. I'm the most successful Commonwealth athlete in the history of the Games - well, joint with that Australian chap, but we won't be speaking about him.

"I might come back as a coach. We'll wait and see. I've got a hell of a lot of experience to pass on.

"The medal I won, I'm dedicating to the Parkinson's society as my wife has had Parkinson's for 10 or 15 years so we need to do something about that.

"Now I'm going to put my gun away, watch the final, then get in the car and drive home. I signed off with a couple of 10s, which was nice, and that's it."

There will be English interest in Monday afternoon's final after 21-year-old Kristian Callaghan shot a personal best to qualify in second place.

Michael Gault's Commonwealth Games medals:

Gold: 25m standard pistol, Melbourne 2006

Gold: 10m air pistol, Manchester 2002

Gold: 10m air pistol pairs, Manchester 2002

Gold: 50m pistol, Manchester 2002

Gold: 10m air pistol, Kuala Lumpur 1998

Gold: 10m air pistol pairs, Kuala Lumpur 1998

Gold: 50m pistol, Kuala Lumpur 1998

Gold: 50m pistol pairs, Kuala Lumpur 1998

Gold: 50m pistol, Victoria 1994

Silver: 10m air pistol pairs, Delhi 2010

Silver: 10m air pistol pairs, Melbourne 2006

Silver: 50m pistol, Melbourne 2006

Silver: 25m centre fire pistol, Victoria 1994

Bronze: 10m air pistol, Glasgow 2014

Bronze: 25m standard pistol pairs, Delhi 2010

Bronze: 50m pistol pairs, Melbourne 2006

Bronze: 25m standard pistol, Manchester 2002

Bronze: 50m pistol pairs, Victoria 1994

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