Kristian Callaghan
Sport: Target Shooter

Kristian is a British target shooter who has represented Great Britain and England internationally since 2007. Kristian started shooting as part of the South Berkshire branch of the Pony Club in 2001, after his mother (who herself was a keen dressage rider) had hoped he would pursue a similar sporting career path. However, after quickly out-growing his pony and having a noticeable talent for shooting, he joined a dedicated shooting club at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley, before being noticed by the then GB Head coach, who began developing his shooting career.

During his junior career, Kristian competed at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India, several European Championships and World Cups and a range of other international competitions which saw him attain the title of Junior Nordic Champion in several disciplines. Kristian won his first British Championship title in the 10m discipline in 2009. However, since discovering his main event (25m Rapid Fire) Kristian went on to win every subsequent Junior and Senior British Championships he competed in in the discipline, setting in excess of 10 British records during his junior career.

After completing his GCSEs and A-Levels in Reading while training in his spare time, Kristian took a gap-year in 2011/12 in a bid to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Despite this attempt being unsuccessful, Kristian gained important match exposure at major internationals. In September 2012 Kristian started a 5-year long Masters degree in Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath. This didn’t reduce Kristian’s motivation to train or compete, as he missed his first university exams in January 2013 to compete for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, winning GB’s first Gold of the Games in 25m Rapid Fire and a Bronze in 50m Pistol (a discipline he only started shooting 4 months’ prior).

6 months after this, Kristian competed in his first World University Games in Kazan, Russia in July 2013. For Kristian, this was his first real taste of a large multi-sport Games, and became one he wanted to enjoy as many times as possible. Less than a week later Kristian competed at his last European Championships as a junior, missing out on a medal and spot in a final by only a few points.

A year later Kristian represented Team England at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in what was his first year competing as a senior. Less than one month since his 21st birthday, Kristian won his first Commonwealth Games medal; a Bronze in 25m Rapid Fire. He also finished 5th in 50m Pistol after qualifying for the final with a 6-point life-time best, ranking him in second place. Two months later Kristian competed in his first World Championships in Granada, Spain.

Only a few days after returning from the World Championships, Kristian began his year-long work placement as part of his degree, working for an Oxford based company designing and manufacturing beamline components for particle accelerators. This presented a new challenge for Kristian, as he tried to combine training and competing with a full working day. Despite this, Kristian still qualified for and competed at his second World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, however he failed to secure a quota place for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games during that season.

With the Olympic Games taking place, 2016 was a relatively quiet year for Kristian. However, in September of that year Kristian competed at the World University Shooting Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where he won GB’s first ever medal in a pistol discipline at a World University event by claiming Bronze in 50m Pistol.

During the 2016/17 period, while completing his final year at the University of Bath, Kristian’s goal was to secure his qualification for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the World Championships to be held in Changwon, Korea, in September 2018. Kristian achieved both of these goals by attaining the Commonwealth Games qualifying scores a total of 21 times across all 3 of his disciplines as well as securing the GB Qualifying standard for the World Championships and World Cups, all while setting a number of life-time bests and graduating with a 2:1 along the way.

Having forged strong ties with the sports department at the University of Bath, Kristian now trains full time between the University and the National Shooting Centre in a bid to ensure he is as well prepared as possible for the World University Shooting Championships, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and World Championships in 2018, the latter of which begins the qualifying process for the 2020 Toyko Olympic Games.

Having represented Great Britain at 11 World Cups and 6 European Championships to date, as well as the Commonwealth Youth Games, two World University Games, one World University Championships and a host of other international championships, Kristian is one of the most experienced international pistol shooters currently competing for Great Britain, and is looking forward to bringing his sport to a new audience with Mintridge.