George Digweed says his latest achievement is the highlight of an amazing career in clay shooting.
The Hastings-born marksman has become the first person to achieve the Grand Slam of winning three World Championships in different shooting formats in the same year.
Digweed, who these days lives in nearby Northiam, clinched his 26th World Championship triumph at the World Fitasc Championships having also been victorious at the World Sporting Championships and the World Compak Championships earlier this year.
He said: “In horse racing terms it would be the equivalent of winning the flat championship, jump championship and show jumping championship.
“No-one’s ever even attempted it before and without question it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever achieved. Nothing I’ve achieved comes close to it. Once you’ve won one, the pressure builds on the other ones.”
If winning the three world titles wasn’t impressive enough, Digweed has done so at the age of 51 and is still ranked number one in the world in two different disciplines.
In horse racing terms it would be the equivalent of winning the flat championship, jump championship and show jumping championship.George Digweed
His latest success at the World Fitasc Championships in Minnesota was hard-earned. He shot 190/200 to pip runner-up Damian Birgin from Australia and third-placed Michael Spada from Italy by one target.
“I felt personally that I shot better than winning it by one target,” he said. “You’re all shooting different layouts and I shot the hardest layouts on days one and two when there was a very strong wind blowing, which made those layouts even more difficult.”
Digweed shot 23/25 and an excellent 25/25 over his two layouts on day one, both of which contained tricky targets and were wind-affected.
He then hit 25/25 and 24/25 on layouts three and four on day two for a halfway total of 97/100. The targets were very tough and strong winds made them even harder. Conditions were also very wet underfoot after a huge overnight storm.
The weather was lovely on day three and Digweed shot 22/25 - which he wasn’t disappointed with - on a very difficult fifth layout. He then produced some fabulous shooting to hit 25/25 on layout six.
Digweed was the first person out on the final day and hit 46/50, which left him with a long and agonising wait for the other scores to come in before he could celebrate his latest victory.
“I missed two on the last stand, which was disappointing, but probably I was a little bit tight and wanted them a little bit too much,” he added. “I left the door somewhat ajar (for his fellow competitors), but as luck would have it, nobody was able to walk through.”
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