No doubt who is aiming to be the big shot of Glasgow. He is a 60-year-old English grandfather gunning for gold, a target that will make him the most successful competitor in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

Mick Gault is already England's most decorated sportsman, yet few have heard of the pistol-packing former RAF radar engineer from Norfolk who has come out of retirement in an attempt to break the record of 18 Games medals held by another shooter, the Australian Philip Adams.

Although Gault has competed for England in five previous Commonwealth Games, he has never been selected for an Olympics, much to his chagrin. He even quit the sport in frustration after being omitted from the GB team for 2012, professing himself "disappointed and gobsmacked".

Gault, who first competed at the 1994 Games in Canada, subsequently became England's most successful Commonwealth Games athlete, surpassing swimmer Karen Pickering's 13 medals, in Melbourne 12 years later.


He has now won 17 Commonwealth medals, including nine golds, and accepts that the Ministry of Defence shooting range in Carnoustie offers his last chance to equal Adams' record, or break it by taking home two medals in the free and air pistol events.

Sheffield-born Gault, who now lives in Dereham, Norfolk, says the prospect of a final shot at equalling that record proved too strong. "I needed to be able to say, 'Job done, sorted.' If I can go to the Commonwealth Games and I succeed, then that will be it, but even if I don't get that medal at least I tried."

He has stepped up his training, which includes power-walking and rigorous target practice at the 11m shooting range in his back garden.

Gault has represented England at five different Games: Victoria (1994), Kuala Lumpur (1998), Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) and Delhi (2010). "Standing on that winning platform for the first time remains in the heart - you never forget it."

- Independent