COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Chance encounter set Rivers on course

Dan Rivers has his sights set on a final spot at Glasgow 2014

Dan Rivers has his sights set on a final spot at Glasgow 2014

First published in Sport

WHEN Dan Rivers was first introduced to target shooting aged 13 at a fair with his grandad, he couldn’t have imagined it would one day lead to the Commonwealth Games, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

That chance encounter encouraged Rivers to join Wantage Target Shooting Club, where he was soon at a high level, winning national titles and setting junior records along the way.

And on Friday he will compete in his first Commonwealth Games, representing England in Glasgow.

“If I’m honest, I never realised how far you can go in the sport,” he said.

“I thought it would be a hobby, but from there you can go to World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the next target will be the Olympic Games in Rio in two years’ time.

“It really does open up.”

Rivers will compete in the small-bore rifle, which has air rifle, prone and three position disciplines.

The 23-year-old mechanic is ranked second in the country in all three categories and has been putting in long hours to maximise his chances.

He said: “I've been really trying to up the hours and just get the time in on the range.

“It's just trying to get the time in, I know the quality of training is good, it's just trying to up it a bit more.

“Work have been really understanding with it, allowing me to have extra time off to go to training camps.

“I'm just trying to cram in every little bit now up until leaving for Glasgow.”

But although the Commonwealth Games will be the first time Rivers has competed at a major multi-sport event, he already has precious experience of the high-pressure environment after taking part in the Olympic Ambition programme in 2012.

And for Rivers, this year’s Commonwealth Games will bring him another step closer to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He said: “The Ambition programme really does give you this ambition.

“It highlighted the athletes that had been in the programme before, where they got to in London and it really makes you realise that you can do it.

“From there I’ve just had the drive and desire to prove that I am good enough for the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a massive platform in itself and it’s also the springboard to go up to the next level – to actually shoot for Great Britain at the Olympics.

“There’s no reason why I can’t go on to Rio and compete there myself, so after being selected for the Commonwealth Games it's just relief, joy and excitement at what's to come.”

SEE tomorrow’s Oxford Mail for a special interview with Dan Rivers and Ben Watson.

Latest Sport news

Johnny Mullins praises Oxford United's medical team after being knocked out

Oxford Mail:

12:50pm Monday 27th April 2015

JOHNNY Mullins praised Oxford United’s medical staff for their swift action after being concussed following a horror fall against Cambridge United.

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

11:59am Monday 27th April 2015

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.

Danny Hylton honoured to receive Oxford United supporters' award

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 27th April 2015

DANNY Hylton was honoured to be voted player of the season by Oxford United’s supporters and capped it off with an excellent display in a 2-0 win against Cambridge United.

We were good value for our win, says Oxford United boss Michael Appleton

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 27th April 2015

MICHAEL Appleton felt Oxford United’s performance deserved more than their 2-0 win against Cambridge United, but was delighted to finish on a high in front of the home fans.

FOOTBALL: Battling Banbury United go down in heartbreaking fashion

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

Banbury United’s 11-year stay in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division came to an end on Saturday with defeat at Chesham United.

RUGBY UNION: Sending-off was crucial, says Rowland Phillips

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

London Welsh director of rugby Rowland Phillips felt Chris Hala’uifa’s 55th-minute sending-off had a “massive influence” on their 38-17 defeat by Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

SWIMMING: Super City of Oxford secure fourth

Oxford Mail: Close up of swimmer for sport

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

City of Oxford secured a fantastic fourth-place finish in the B final of the National Arena League in Cardiff this weekend.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh give Leicester Tigers a big fright before slipping to 20th loss

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

London Welsh gave Leicester Tigers a fright as they briefly threatened to record their first win at Welford Road since 1987 on Saturday.

RACING: Henrietta Knight joins tributes to retiring champion Tony McCoy

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

Henrietta Knight was among the many to pay tribute to retiring champion jockey Tony McCoy at Sandown on Saturday.

FOOTBALL McNish snatches late victory for North Leigh

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Monday 27th April 2015

Callum McNish scored in the last minute to secure North Leigh a dramatic 3-2 victory at Clevedon Town on Saturday.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree