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Marksman James Bevis back in Herefordshire to plan his campaign for Rio 2016
PARALYMPIC shooting star James Bevis has returned to old ground to start a new challenge.
The London 2012 bronze medallist is now living in Thruxton with his girlfriend Sarah.
But the 36-year-old Herefordshire lad has started a new discipline – 50-metre outdoor prone shooting in SH1 and SH2.
“I am still doing the 10m shooting and I am taking on another discipline,” said James, who moved back to the county from Devon in November.
“It’s going to be a challenge and I will be lying on the floor and going up against my good friend and Great Britain team-mate Matt Skelhon. “It’s a big difference. I will be shooting outside and having to contend with light and wind conditions.
“My favourite thing is a big challenge and going up against Matt will be just that. I will be very prepared when the time comes.
“The biggest reasons for the new event is to open my medal opportunities and, now my arm is getting better, it’s a new, very exciting challenge.
“I have told Matt that I will give him a run for his money.”
James has just returned from a four-day intensive training camp with the Great Britain shooting team in Aylesbury.
And he is competing this weekend in the annual Geoff Partridge Memorial Competition at the West Midlands Regional Shooting Centre in Wolverhampton.
“I won the national indoor championships for four years in a row but I had gun issues 12 months ago and shot abysmally,” said James.
“I have just shot four 600s in the training camp and I thought I shot pretty well.
“I am getting used to new gun alterations.”
James achieved a bronze medal in last autumn’s London Paralympics in the mixed R5 10m air rifle prone SH2. After three hours’ of competition at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, he was narrowly beaten in a sudden-death shoot-out for the silver medal by France’s Raphael Voltz.
“Everything is going well and it has been very busy since London and I feel honoured to have been a part of it,” said James. “I needed to make the most of what I achieved at the Paralympics – but I have to look forward now and be fully focused. I met people like Chris Moyles and had my photograph taken with Katherine Jenkins.
“But we’re in a new four-year cycle to Rio and I can’t afford to spend time heading to all parts of the country. Our sport is tough, hectic and technical. The competition is so fierce and the margins between success and failure are so small.
“There’s no room for errors because there are so many technical things beyond your control which could go wrong.”
James admits the pressure is off him for the moment.
“I don’t think I will ever feel like I did the night before my event at the Paralympics,” he said.
“The stress was unbelievable and I don’t want to go through that again.”
The shooter is training at thePoint4 and twice a month with the British team at Stoke Mandeville.
“My girlfriend has just finished her job and she’s a highly-qualified nurse,” he said. “We hope that she can find a new job in this area.”