The selection of Charlotte Kerwood over Abbey Burton to shoot at the Olympic Games has prompted industry members to question whether clay shooting’s governing bodies have applied their selection policies properly and fairly.
British Shooting’s panel originally picked Charlotte Kerwood, ranked 15th in the world in women’s trap, to go to the Games – but Ms Burton, ranked 5th in the world and gold medallist at the ISSF World Cup event in Lonato, appealed against the decision. An independent arbitrator upheld the appeal and referred the decision back to the panel, which still elected to send Ms Kerwood to London.
Ms Burton’s chances of making her case for selection were reduced when she was not sent to Tucson as part of Great Britain’s World Cup squad earlier this year. Also, Ms Burton’s win in Lonato was not counted as part of the selection period, even though the cancelled World Cup event in Cairo that it replaced would have counted.
The BICTSF’s selection process specifies that World Cup teams for all disciplines except Double Trap are selected based on UK ranking. At the time of selection for the Tucson World Cup event, Ms Burton was ranked second in the UK, while Ms Kerwood – who was picked over Ms Burton to go to Tucson – was ranked fourth.
British Shooting’s remit is to select Olympic athletes who provide the greatest medal-winning potential. Speaking on BBC Radio Somerset on 12 June, Clay Shooting editor Wes Stanton said the process had been “fundamentally unfair” and that Ms Burton had not been given the opportunities she should have had.