Interview to Danka Barteková

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Steadfast and tough-minded, the 35-year-old Danka Barteková has already gained 6 medals at the European Championships, 3 at the World Championships as well as a bronze one at the 2012 Lonon Olympics. She has been using her Gemini chokes for a short time however achieving the perfect feeling which shall accompany her along the next important sporting commitments!

1. How did your passion for clay target shooting begin?

When I was a child, my father turned on his passion for hunting and amateur clay-pigeons shooting. I can remember we were used to cheer on him at the edge of the field, it was only a matter of time before me and my sister were allowed to try. From the very first time I turned my hand thereto I realized it was “love at the first shoot”. 23 seasons went by, nevertheless I still get goose bumps anytime I remeber such moment.

2. How did you realize that skeet shooting was your discipline?

To be honest, I have never grappled neither with Trap nor with Sporting before Skeet. I was simply destined to follow in my father’s footprints. Skeet shooting is the one that best suits my personality – I adore repetitions, hard training, accuracy and all those routine schemes which are by far more exploitable as for Skeet than Trapshooting. Naturally I took on something else in the run of the following years, yet as a matter of fact, I am aware of being a skeet shooter deep down in my heart and I never had any doubts … I definitely belong to the Skeet shooting field!

3. What was your most exciting victory?

My most prestigious achievement is the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London, that's for sure. Even so I can recall several competitions leaving a place on my mind and I enjoy going back to those moments. I remember winning my first World Cup, in 2006 in Egypt, which meant that I would become a Olympic athlete, since there was a quota placement for grabs. It was my second year as a senior shooting athlete and I started to reach the same results I was obtaining during training. I was so happy after that success! I also keep the memory of the victory at the 2008 Nicosia European Championships, setting the 99 out of 100 world record. I felt terribly sick that day, but I tried to compete to the best of my ability. There are many competitions enshrining an enormous value as well as providing a worthy lesson. For instance the last two European Cups I won – both of them starting in a difficult way and featured with many uncertainties - I had never given up, till getting to the top step of the podium. I shall remeber those events forever.

4. What’s your way to concentrate?

I boast a complete program to prepare my mind for the next shot. From getting rid of any concern and strengthening my self confidence, up to improving my focus adjusting during shooting. Everything starts in the proper way before the round begins or entering the field! I perform some mind exercise, but what really helps me is the fact to know that I did everything I could in order to achieve my goal and I just have to repeat what I've fulfilled millions of times. I know it sounds extremely simple, but so as to reach such levels you need a lot of work, training, physical and mental preparation and the best team of experts supporting you!

5. To what extent are the Gemini choke tubes essential for the success of your sporting achievements?

I believe it is necessary to be provided with the best equipment to achieve the utmost performance. I started shooting with the Gemini chokes this year, as I changed my shotgun aiming at balancing my barrels. I tested them for a long time, trying different combinations of chokes and cartridges and was pleasantly impressed by the number of models and the precision of these chokes. After using them in some competitions thus obtaining excellent results at the European Championships, I can say I made a great choice.

6. What’s their strong point in your opinion?

I hold to be true it's their thoroughness. When I tried the Gemini chokes with my cartridges, which are custom-made for me, I noticed a first-class combination. What matters the most is that their extraordinary performances are not merely theoretical, rather they are showed-off on the field. I can firmly state they are stable and precise. Beside that, my Ported help me to reduce the recoil as for double barrel shooting by a remarkable percentage.

7. What weapon do you use and what choke tube do you prefer?

I've been shooting with a Perazzi for about 14 years and I love this shotgun madly. This year I changed my model halfway through the season – from the High Tech (in my beautiful version with pink letters) to the High Tech 2020, specifically designed for next year. It is a wonderful shotgun, extremely stable on the shoulder, very well balanced and fits perfectly with my way of shooting. I choose my chokes at any competition, depending on the quality of the targets, their softness or hardness and on my state of mind as well as my level of technical preparation. I like getting smaller cone of fire width, there is no better feeling than blowing up clay pigeons.

8. What advice would you give to a young person approaching this sport?

Our sport is amazing, howbeit really complex. It allows beginners to improve very quickly at an initial stage, even if to reach the maximum end subsequently it is required a lot of time, a big effort and hard work.

It entails hours and hours at the shooting range, in the gym and on the massage table. I can recommend that young people don’t give up and accept any failures. Consider them as lessons and move on, by working harder. What really matters is having fun while shooting. This is what makes the difference between a champion and all the others.

9. Your latest sporting achievements and next endeavours we can follow?

I won my fourth gold medal at the Class European Championships held in Lonato del Garda in September 2019. In 2020 I attained gold at both the Qatar Open and the Cyprus Grand Prix: at the latter I set my personal record, 121+58. Pretty recent is also my bronze at the World Cup in Nicosia.All that will be complemented by several workouts, so as to be sure to undergo an adequate training.

10. Would you like to give us some advice to further improve our product?

The only certainty is change and I am sure that innovation is the key to always be one step ahead. For now the best proof of their quality lies in the results of the shooters who trusted in these chokes. Whether they are professionals, amateurs or hunters, I believe that all those who have chosen to use a Gemini choke know they can rely on quality and accuracy. This is the maximum satisfaction you can get!