Tokyo here we come!

Steven Seligmann of British Shooting is looking forward to seeing our athletes compete in the 2020 Olympics.

There’s just over a year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games – and British Shooting is looking forward with anticipation as we reflect on the quota places we have achieved so far.

Qualification for Tokyo began at the World Championships in September 2018, where Seonaid McIntosh won shooting’s first quota place for Team GB with a fantastic performance in three-position rifle, finishing in fourth place.

Since then we’ve had a number of shooters who have been in a position to win quota places for Team GB. Kirsty Hegarty (competing with her maiden name of Barr) secured our second quota place following her silver medal at the Al Ain World Cup.

Kirsty also continues to demonstrate her ability in the mixed pairs event, a Tokyo 2020 event, with medal performances first at the World Championships partnering Aaron Heading, and then at the Acapulco World Cup partnering Matthew Coward Holley.

In May, Matthew Coward-Holley secured the third quota place with his silver medal at the Changwon World Cup. An outstanding qualification score of 124, followed by a hard-fought final, ensured that he won the quota place for Team GB.

As the Tokyo qualification period unfolds we have had opportunities to win quota places at every major event so far across Olympic Trap and Olympic Skeet. In addition to the quota places secured, there have been a number of outstanding performances from GBR shooters who have narrowly missed out.

This is already an increase on the number of opportunities compared to the whole of the Rio cycle, and demonstrates the strength and depth of shooters within Great Britain.

With four qualification events remaining, we are in a solid place to capitalise on these competitions. The focus for British Shooting, the athletes and their support teams will be to continue to ensure we are well prepared for each event and remain focused on securing further quota places. 

This success follows a period of reviewing and reshaping the strategy in 2018. It has been based on evolution rather than revolution, but fundamental to the shift has been the bold affirmation of ‘One British Shooting’.

Founded on the interconnected drivers of Engagement, Performance and Leadership, the integration of our Paralympic and Olympic performance programmes a year ago in April 2018 provided the ideal catalyst for this shift in thinking and delivery.

The sport continues to drive forward. Our shooters, coaches, support staff, administrators, board, funders, sponsors and supporters are undoubtedly stronger together and we are united behind the mission of becoming ‘One British Shooting’.

What is British Shooting?

British Shooting is responsible for the international disciplines co-ordinated by the International Shooting Sport Federation, and is recognised as the governing body for those disciplines for Great Britain.

Funded by UK Sport and Sport England, British Shooting’s purpose is to create the opportunity for world leading people to deliver world leading performances. British Shooting actively works to put plans in place to prepare athletes and coaches for major games and competitions.

In order to give shooters every opportunity to develop into world class athletes, British Shooting has developed a system to support great people with world class coaches, cutting edge sport science, and dynamic management and logistics.

Trap shooter Kirsty Hegarty won the first shotgun quota place for team GB (©ISSF/Kirsty Barr)

Its fundamental aim is to support athletes in achieving their goals. It offers support and opportunities to shooters of all ages and has a proven track record of developing talented people, from every shooting discipline, into world class athletes.

In shotgun shooting, British Shooting has a Talent Pathway, coordinated by Christian Schofield, which includes Talent ID Days, bespoke support through the GB Talent Programme, and Talent Hubs based on partnerships between British Shooting and selected shooting grounds.

For details of the pathway scheme, and information on how to get involved, see www.britishshooting.org.uk

Shooting at Tokyo 2020

In 2020, from July 24th to August 9th, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be home to a record 33 sports and 339 events. On 25 July, the day after the opening ceremony, a total of 21 sports will be featured in an action-packed competition schedule. Shooting sport is one of those, and will deliver the first of its 15 gold medals. 

With heavyweights like Olympic gold medallist Steve Scott in the team, Britain’s chances look good for Tokyo 2020

The shooting events will stretch out until 3 August, and during this period at least one final event will take place every day except 29 July and 2 August. Rifle and Pistol disciplines will generate ten gold medals in total, while shotgun events will contribute five more golds.

All the shooting events will be held at the Asaka Shooting Range, the same venue that hosted shooting events at the 1964 Olympic Games, which will be renovated for the upcoming Games.

The Super Saturday of the Olympic Games will take place on 1 August, with a huge number of medal events scheduled to be held on that day. Among them will be the first-ever Trap Mixed Team final, along with other events appearing for the first time at the Olympics.

For the best field sports news, reviews, industry and feature content, don’t forget to visit our sister publications Sporting Rifle, Bow International, Airgun Shooter and Gun Trade News. And our YouTube shows The Shooting Show and The Airgun Shooter. For subscriptions, please visit https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/

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