Castle Douglas shooter David McMath admits he is still in shock after winning gold at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The 21-year-old produced a stunning performance in the double trap final, recording a new Games' record of 74 points out of 80 to beat Isle of Man’s Tim Kneale by four shots in McMath’s debut Games.
Speaking to the Galloway Gazette after he returned home, he said: “I’m pretty proud, I can’t put it into words to be honest, I’m still a bit shocked. Two years ago I would have been doing well to make the team nevermind win gold, it is so surreal.
“It was an experienced field, and my first games at 21. There were a lot in their forties and fifties competing. In the morning, before qualification, I was a bit nervous but I had a pretty solid start.
“I have never felt so nervous as I did for the first few targets in the final, but I settled down after the first ten and was more concentrating on the targets.
“Knowing I had won before firing the last two rounds was a pretty special feeling. I didn’t want to start jumping about though out of respect for my opponent.”
It was a proud moment for the McMath family who live near the Castle Douglas High School. Mum and dad, Caroline and David, had went out to Australia to watch McMath perform, and there was a special visit from four-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Matthew Pinsent.
McMath, who had only started competing in the double trap discipline three years ago, said: “It was really special to have my mum and dad there.
At the end, my dad came down to the bottom of the grandstand and was jumping about celebrating, my mum, I think, was still at the top in tears.
“It was quite weird meeting him [Matthew Pinsent]. I came out of the final and he called me over and I said, ‘nice to meet you’ and he responded, saying, ‘no we’re here to meet you!’
“I’ve always been more interested in Olympic sports than say, football, so to meet someone like him is inspirational.”
McMath intends to switch disciplines to skeet after the International Shooting Sport 's decision to remove double trap from the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. The civil engineering student at Strathclyde University, admits it is a blow.
He said: “It’s pretty gutting, especially when I was starting to really compete on the world stage.
I’ll just have to start again. I couldn’t choose two disciplines that are further apart from each other but, if I can do it in three years in double trap, then I’m confident I can do it again."
McMath touched down at Glasgow Airport on Tuesday but was on the second flight back so missed the “hype”, nevertheless he has been overwhelmed by the messages he has received.
He said: “I had quite a lot of messages of support. I just got back to Castle Douglas yesterday (Thursday) so I haven’t really seen anyone yet. People were saying they stayed up late at night to watch. I just want to thank all my friends and family for all their support.”