An impressive line-up of accomplished shooters will be heading to Rio de Janeiro next year to represent Britain in the 2016 Olympics
The Team GB Olympic shooting squad for Rio 2016 was announced last week. The chosen six are: Elena Allen, Amber Hill, Tim Kneale, Ed Ling, Jennifer McIntosh and Steve Scott.
The British Olympic Association revealed the identities of the squad at a press conference at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Berkshire. The newly minted Olympians will travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August next year, where they will compete at the Olympic Shooting Centre within Deodoro Olympic Park.
All but Amber Hill and Tim Kneale have competed at the Olympics before. The team of six may still yet grow to eight, as the results of the 2016 European Championships in Hungary in February could potentially unlock two additional Olympic quota places.
Meet the Olympic shooting team
Elena Allen, 42, is one of the most experienced shooters on Team GB and secured her spot with a silver medal win at skeet at the 2014 World Championships in Grenada. She took skeet bronze and team skeet silver at the 2013 World Championships, and a silver medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Rio 2016 will be Moscow-born Elena’s second trip to the Olympics, having finished 12th in the women’s skeet at London 2012.
Amber Hill, 18, is not only the youngest member of the squad, but also the youngest ever skeet world cup gold medal winner, taking top prize at the World Cup in Mexico when she was just 15.More recently, the Windsor-born shooter took gold at both the European Games in June and the ISSF World Cup Final last month. She said: “I don’t think there is a greater honour than being named as an Olympian to represent your country.”
Tim Kneale, 33, is the current men’s double trap world record holder. He secured his place on the Rio 2016 squad with his silver medal win at the 2015 ISSF World Championships in Lonato. The Isle of Man-born trap shooter previously took bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and another bronze medal the same year at the World Championships in Munich. This will be his first time at the Olympics and he said he was “proud”to be selected.
Ed Ling, 32, has been to the Olympic Games twice before — competing in Athens 2004 and London 2012. He is a winner of both the world and European universal trap titles and took silver at the 2014 World Championships — which earned him his place on the squad. On his selection, the Taunton-born shooter told BBC Sport: “I’m absolutely over the moon, it’s a huge honour. I know what I’m going to expect going into this year and to obtain that Olympic medal is what we work for.”
Jennifer McIntosh, 24, won two gold medals and a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games when she was just 19. She went on to become the most decorated female medal winner in Scottish history with silver and bronze wins at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The Edinburgh-born air rifle shooter, who competed at London 2012, has shooting in her blood — her mother is retired gold medallist Shirley McIntosh MBE and her sister is fellow shooter Seonaid McIntosh.
Steve Scott, 39, was last at the Olympics during Beijing 2008, where he came 12th in the double trap. He secured his spot for Rio 2016 with a silver medal win at the Gabala 2015 World Cup in August. He is a double Commonwealth gold medallist, with a double trap pairs title from Delhi 2010 and the individual accolade from Glasgow 2014. The Lewisham-born shooter finished fifth in the men’s double trap at the Baku 2015 European Games and took gold at the ISSF World Cup Final in October.