Ed Ling
DisciplineOlympic Trap
Date of Birth17 March 1983
A former world and European Junior Champion, Ed Ling has appeared at the Olympic Games on two occasions Ė Athens 2004 and London 2012 - and has also won the world and European universal trap titles. 
Ling finished 25th in the menís trap in Athens before recording a 21st place finish at London 2012 in the same event. At the 2014 World Championships Ling took silver behind Slovakiaís Erik Varga, which qualified Team GB a quota place for Rio 2016.

A year later Ling competed for Team GB again, this time at the Baku 2015 European Games, where he finished just outside the medal places in fourth after a 13-11 defeat to Giovanni Pellielo in the menís trap bronze medal shoot off.

One of the most experienced Olympians, having accumulated three appearances at the world's biggest sporting event, those who know Ed will know he will be calmness personified as he takes the Rio 2016 final in his stride. 

He is one of the most humble British athletes to have appeared in the Olympics, but it takes a special talent to get there three times. He might not talk big about his dreams or prospects, but underneath the genuine, hard-working countrymanís image is a top shot who knows how to perform, and he loves to perform in the big moments.

He has come a long way from the 12-year-old boy who tried shooting his dadís Browning B2G to win virtually every accolade available in trap competition.

His humbleness is one of his greatest strengths and helps drive him on in competition. 

Speaking of his chances before the day, he said: ďMost people here are top-end shooters, which means that pretty much any one of them could win, including myself.Ē

They say that if you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life and that saying is true in Ed's case.

ďMy enjoyment comes from shooting clays," Ed explains. "For me I believe breaking them comes down to handling the gun, and developing good gun control, and working on my hand-eye coordination. 

ďWhen I pull the trigger, whether it is ABT, UT or OT, shooting a competition has a bit more of an edge than just shooting practice rounds of Olympic Trap, so Iím going to keep doing it.Ē

Despite competing at the biggest sporting event in the world, Ling still manages to keep control of his emotions.

ďEvery Olympics is a new experience, partly because itís a different location each time. But I will try to treat it like any other competition and not highlight that it is the Olympic Games because straight away youíre adding pressure to yourself, so Iíll take it a little bit at a time and take the pressure as it comes. 

ďWhen Iím there Iíll make sure I rely on my routine and my experience of previous experiences so when it comes around I view it as not the Olympic Games but just another competition and hopefully on the day it will all come together.Ē

This is the second time that Ling has competed in Rio this year as he attended the World Cup at the same venue in April.

ďIíve never shot in heat like it, the humidity was draining and dripping off me. I knew it was going to be tough to get through a nine-way shoot-off so I figured if I just kept on plugging away Iíd come through it. That was one of my main goals is getting through to the final.

ďFrom there, I donít believe you can control what others are doing. If everything goes right and youíre on a good squad with people next to you who arenít too distracting, hopefully itíll be OK. In shooting I donít think youíd be able to pick someone straight off and say that that person is going to win. 

ďIn running you can look at Usain Bolt and say he will win unless he trips over, but itís a bit more difficult in shooting Ė what will make a difference is if I am able to enjoy it. My scores show when Iíve been enjoying myself: my confidence is higher and Iím able to hit good scores.Ē

He is calm, respectful and generally wants to avoid pomp and flair Ė  the British medal hope missed the opening ceremony and probably wonít stick around for the closing party either.

ďIíll probably just use the athleteís village to get rest and relax. I donít get star struck so much, Iím just there to do my job. Iím flying home as soon as the competition is finished because Iím not really one for staying away too long, Iíve got the farm back home that I need to muck in with.

ďItís not me to stay out there doing nothing, I want to be doing something, so Iíll get back to work and help finish with the harvest. Itís all about the competition. Iím getting a bit more used to media and everything that goes with going to the Olympics, but everyone knows Iím not a fan of doing TV or other bits and bobs, I just like to get out and do what I do.Ē
WORLD CUP: We preview the @ISSF_Shooting World Cup in Larnac...
Friday 28 April 2017 14:56 via Twitter
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