Turner targets Rhodes after major operation

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But the 32-year-old marksman – a gold-medallist at the Shetland Island Games and a competitor in the Commonwealth Games, 2004 Island champion and Cobo Open champion and silver medallist in the British Air Gun championships at Bisley in 2005 – has every intention of being fit to travel to the Island Games in Rhodes next summer and win more gold medals.

‘I should be able to make a full recovery and the treatment I’ve had shouldn’t affect my shooting,’ Turner said.

‘But it’s going to take a while to get back to it.’ Turner, who also plays softball, badminton and pool, said he’d been told that a top windsurfer had the same operation and had got back to his sport with no trouble.

‘Shooting is a different kettle of fish,’ he said.

‘I may have to change the last bit of the shooting process a bit.’ Turner had been diagnosed with a genetic condition, Marfan Syndrome, after he had what he described as a constriction along his arm and up his throat.

‘It came on relatively suddenly.

I went to A&E and they said it might be a virus, then I went to my GP who agreed a virus was plausible, but sent me for an echocardiograph.

But the appointment was nearly three weeks later, and in the meantine I went to Bisley to coach Scott (Douglas) and Chantelle (Ward) in the junior championship.

Then I had the test done and flew to London that night to have the valve put in.’ One of the effects of Marfan Syndrome is that it causes connective tissues to stretch.

Turner’s aorta (the heart’s main blood vessel) had swollen to twice the size it should have been because of the action of the blood pumping through into the artery.

But he won’t let his condition stop him continuing with his sport.

‘Rhodes is the goal I’m aiming at.

If I’m not able to shoot I’d like to be there as team manager.

I’m determined to get there.’

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