Six British shooting athletes headed out to the Rio 2016 Olympics to compete across five different shooting disciplines. In the end, 4 finalists and 2 Bronze medals marked a fantastic Games for the British team, which earned them an eleventh place finish in the overall standings for shooting.
It is the first time since Sydney 2000 that Britain has picked up multiple medals in shooting at an Olympics. Not only that, but Ed Ling’s and Steve Scott’s Bronze medals are only the second and third shooting medals Team GB has won at an Olympics since Richard Faulds and Ian Peel picked up Gold and Silver respectively in 2000.
Ed Ling got the team off to the perfect start, winning Bronze in the Men’s Trap on Monday 8 August. It was third time lucky for Ed, competing in his third Olympic Games and also securing Team GB’s third medal of the Games.
The Somerset shooters pathway to Bronze was an emotional roller-coaster, overcoming a tense sudden death shoot off; to then comfortably win the Bronze medal match against 2008 Olympic champion, David Kostelecky from the Czech Republic.
Speaking after he collected his medal, Ed said: “It's been a long time coming."
"The bronze medal match is really tough because you either medal or you go home with nothing, so there's a lot of pressure on you. Luckily despite missing my first target I managed to pick myself back up."
"I felt like I had a bit of an edge because I had to shoot-off for the bronze medal match so I stayed in the moment."
"It's great for shooting, it's another medal now and hopefully there's more to come this week. We have a great support team behind us thanks to funding from UK Sport and the National Lottery and we're all more than capable of picking up a medal for Team GB."
Day 5 of the Games presented Steve Scott and Tim Kneale with the chance to follow up on Ed’s success as they competed in the Men’s Double Trap.
Both men got off to the perfect start. Tim progressed to the semi-finals on 139/150 and Steve joined him there with 138/150.
With two shooters in the final six there were high hopes for another medal. The semi-final didn’t go as according to plan as British supporters would have liked. However, after overcoming a shoot off with James Willett from Australia, Tim and Steve found themselves up against one another in the Bronze medal match.
A guaranteed medal for Team GB, but one shooter was always going to be left disappointed. Steve shot superbly in the Bronze medal match, recording a 30 straight and never gave Tim the chance to claw his way back after dropping two single birds and finishing on 28/30.
As the pair embraced, it was a bittersweet moment, but with Amber Hill and Elena Allen shooting in the Women’s Skeet on day 7, there was an air of optimism for another shooting medal.
Competing in her first Olympic Games, Amber Hill was up against a vastly more experienced field including the likes of five-time Olympic medal winner Kimberly Rhode.
Recording 70/75 in qualification, Amber progressed to the semi-finals in fifth position. Disappointingly, Elena Allen finished on 64/75 in tied 14th position.
Once in the semi-finals, Amber scored 13/16 to finish in sixth position, just one point off making it into a shoot off for the Bronze medal match.
It was a valiant effort from the Berkshire shooter, who turns 19 on the day of the closing ceremony in Rio.
“I enjoyed every moment today and that’s one of the things I set out to do here. I said to myself a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to come away from here having enjoyed my time here and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”
Hill certainly won’t be resting on her laurels and already has her eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“There’s a lot more hard work to be done and a lot more experience to gain in the next four years because I am only 18 but there’s a lot of good things to come for me. “
The final member of the British shooting team at Rio 2016 was rifle shooter Jennifer McIntosh. On the first day of the Games Jen finished 15th in the Women’s 10m air rifle. She followed this up with an 18th place finish in the Women’s 50m rifle 3 positions on Thursday 11 August.
Our congratulations must go to Ed and Steve on winning Bronze in the Men’s Trap and Men’s Double Trap. The whole team performed exceptionally and hopefully their achievements can help to inspire the next generation of shooters.