Mixed emotions as Christopher Pitt makes shooting final
SHOOTING: Christopher Pitt knows he could have shot better but was elated to make the bronze medal match of the P3 mixed 25m pistol at the Paralympics.
Pitt went down to South Korea's Ju Hee Lee, 7-3 for the shoot-off for third place.
However just making that match was a monumental effort.
Pitt was in 24th position after the precision shooting but shot well in the rapid discipline to clinch seventh place, the second last spot available for the final.
"It was a match of mixed emotions," he said.
"The precision stage of the match was shocking, I was really down in the dumps after that.
"Then I had a good start to the fast shooting, fell to pieces in the middle, and came home good. I'm just elated that I made the final."
In the final, Pitt was equal fourth with Ukraine's Oleksii Denysiuk, after regular shooting.
The pair then went into two rounds of five shot each.
"I was nervous but just concentrating on the process," Pitt said.
"I wasn't happy with how I shot the process but it was very exciting and I was just over the moon to get to the medal round."
Pitt said before the Paralympics, the goal was to make a final.
"To come away with fourth, it was so close, but it is still awesome," he said.
So far, the Bundaberg Paralympian is Australia's best performing shooter.
"It is frustrating because I can shoot much better but as my coach says 'it is the Games and everyone goes through the same feelings," Pitt said.
"There's a lot of shooters just crash under pressure, I don't handle pressure that well but to get to where I did, I must have done something right."
Pitt's Paralympics are now over, he also shot in the P1 men's 10m air pistol last week, finishing 14th.
The 51-year-old gave credit to fellow Bundaberg Paralympian Rheed McCracken, who competes in athletics, for helping inspire him to get to Brazil.
"Competing at my first games at this stage of my life is a pretty good achievement," he said.
"It feels good to know I can relax now."
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics is very much something Pitt could see himself heading towards.
"I'm not giving up yet, I haven't mastered it yet," Pitt said.
"I would like to have a bit of success at World Cups.
"It almost feels like I've finished my apprenticeship and I can compete with the guys now, so hopefully that will just give my mind a bit of a kick start and learn to accept that I can do it, and strive for bigger and better things."