The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today named the six shooting athletes officially selected to compete for Team GB at next summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The athletes selected to Team GB across the four events are:
Amber Hill: Women’s Skeet (born: Windsor, home town: Bracknell)
Elena Allen: Women’s Skeet (born: Moscow, home town: Newport)
Ed Ling: Men’s Trap (born: Taunton, home town: Taunton)
Jen McIntosh: Women’s 50m 3 Positions (born: Edinburgh, home town: Edinburgh)
Steve Scott: Men’s Double Trap (born: Lewisham, home town: Battle)
Tim Kneale: Men’s Double Trap (born: Douglas, home town: Langport)
Four of the six shooters will go to Rio having previous Olympic Games experience with Tim Kneale and 18-year-old Amber Hill set to make their Olympic debuts next summer. And, of course, British Shooting still have the European Championships in Hungary in February 2016, where tow more Rio quota places are up for grabs.
Hill, who won gold at the inaugural European Games in June, became the youngest ever Skeet World Cup gold medallist in 2013 and recently took gold – alongside Steve Scott – at the ISSF World Cup Final in Cyprus.
Hill will be joined in the women’s skeet event by three-time World Championship medallist Elena Allen, while Scott and current world record holder Tim Kneale are selected for the men’s double trap event.
Two-time Olympian and world silver medallist Ed Ling will compete in the men’s trap while London 2012 Olympian and the most decorated Scottish athlete in Commonwealth Games history Jen McIntosh completes the team in the 50m 3 Positions event.
Team GB have a proud record of shooting success at the Olympic Games, sitting sixth on the all-time table with 44 medals – 13 gold, 15 silver and 16 bronze. Three years ago at London 2012 Peter Wilson came away with the team’s only medal after winning gold in the men’s double trap.
Shooting Team Leader Phil Scanlan said: “I am delighted that the BOA have confirmed our selections for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. We have a great blend of youth and experience with a range from two-time Olympians to those experiencing their first Games.
“They are all Olympic quota place winners in their own right, and to manage that in the sport of shooting is a major achievement in itself, with most having to win a medal at a major championship to get the quota.
“We are coming off the back of a very successful two year qualifying period for British Shooting, with many medals, both individual and team, won in World, European and Commonwealth Championships, so confidence is very high. And of course, we still have the European Championships in Hungary in February 2016, where we could potentially add one or even two more to the Rio team.
“We have a whole host of talented athletes coming through the GB Academy Programme and we hope that success in Rio will inspire them to go on to become the world leading shooting nation at Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”
Amber Hill said: “It was a really special moment when I was confirmed to be on the team. It’s what I’ve been training for and to know the hard work has paid off means a lot. I’ve had so much support from British Shooting, my family and sponsors, and this achievement makes me feel like I’ve done them proud.
“My dream of competing at an Olympics really came to me after watching the target shooting at London 2012. I didn’t understand the scale of it and how important a competition it was until that moment. Watching Peter (Wilson) become Olympic Champion really did inspire me. I would have done anything to compete.
“I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices along the way and stay dedicated, but it’s completely worth it.”
Ed Ling said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. All the hard work has come together. You never know who is going to get the place, but I knew that as long long as I held my form, I should get it.
“It’s a great honour. Every sports person who wears that flag for their country should be honoured - it’s a great experience. It’s what we work for, to obtain that Olympic medal. I think the experience I’ve had means I know what I’m going to expect going into this year but when competing we’re only as good as we can perform on the day.”
Elena Allen said: “It feels absolutely fantastic that I’ve been chosen to represent Team GB again. The fact that I’ve won my own quota place makes it that extra bit special. It has taken a lot of hard work, dedication and help from my husband and coach Malcolm - if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be in this position.
“I have experience at two Olympics now, so we’ll see if it’ll be third time lucky. I feel strong and confident going into Rio and hopefully that’ll lead to success. I’ve competed in Brazil before during the 2005 World Cup and I reached the final, so I have good memories there.”
Jennifer McIntosh said: “It was so satisfying to know that all the hard work has paid off. Making the team is a great honour but my goal is now to perform well.
“After my experience at London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, I feel like nothing will phase me now.
“I always hope to inspire people to take up the sport and doing well in Rio will hopefully go some way to doing that. It’s a great sport for all and I really hope it can show our academy athletes that success is possible with hard work and determination.
Steve Scott said: “It feels awesome. I’ve worked really hard and it feels great that Team GB would choose me to represent them at the Olympic Games.
“I’ve had a really successful year and it goes to show that hard work pays off.
“I wasn’t shooting great leading up to London 2012 and Team GB selected the right people at the time. I want to succeed now as much as I did in 2008 when I competed in my first Olympic Games.”
Tim Kneale said: “It feels absolutely amazing to make the Rio team, but also a bit surreal. It’s not sinking in. I’ve been to a few Commonwealth Games and world games, An Olympic Games will be fantastic. To have the atmosphere that Rio will bring with it will be amazing.
“The build-up from my support team to get me to this point has been really impressive. I can truly say I wouldn’t have got my place on the team if it wasn’t for being on the programme (World Class Programme).”
The announcement of the six shooters takes Team GB’s total number of selected athletes for Rio 2016 to 18 from three sports following the announcements of eight sailors and four slalom canoeists.
Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said: “It’s fantastic to welcome these six shooters to Team GB for Rio 2016 and to see the team growing - with shooting now the third sport to officially select athletes for the Games next summer.
“Team GB has a proud history in Olympic shooting and it’s great to see this trend continuing with the class of 2016. For each athlete to have secured their quota place with outstanding performances in major competitions is testament to the strength of the team and of the individuals we’re delighted to be taking to Rio.”