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Norfolk shooter targets coaching career after return to health

Michael Gault's early shooting days Photo: ITV News Anglia

His sport requires precision, balance and quick reactions. But right now it's all about how Michael Gault is taking it slow.

On Christmas Day last December the Norfolk shooter suffered a stroke while he was enjoying lunch with his family at the local pub.

At first he thought it was a migraine, but soon realised it was much worse.

Michael has now retired from international competitions Credit: ITV News Anglia

He was rushed to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where scans revealed that the left side of Michaels brain, which controls his speech had been severely damaged.

Michael first competed at the I994 Games in Canada Credit: ITV News Anglia

Six months on and Michael is on the road to recovery.

He's been under the care of speech and language therapists whilst he returns back to work.

The Norfolk shooter won his 18th medal at the Commonwealth Games last summer. The bronze medal, won in the 10m air pistol event, made him the joint most decorated Commonwealth sportsman of all time – and England’s highest-ever achiever at the Games.

The shooter won his record-equalling 18th Commonwealth Games medal in Glasgow last summer Credit: ITV News Anglia

Michael's stroke hasn't stopped him from doing the sport he loves.

He is however planning to take a step back from international competitions and focus on a future of coaching.

Click below to watch Michael's journey.

Stroke has long been a part of national ad campaigns to raise awareness of the condition. In the East of England around 11,000 people have a stroke every year and over a hundred thousand live with the effects of stroke.

By making a few simple lifestyle changes you can dramatically reduce the risk of stroke by doing things such as keeping blood pressure under control, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and not smoking.

Knowing how to recognise a stroke is vital.

You can recognise a stroke using the FAST test:

FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?

SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

TIME to call 999.