Steve Scott has won a fifth shooting quota place for Team GB at next year’s Rio Olympics after securing a silver medal at the Gabala 2015 World Cup.
The 30-year-old from Battle performed fantastically to see off some very strong competition in Azerbaijan and finish second in the men’s double trap discipline.
Scott shot 143 in the qualification rounds to reach the semi-finals, in which he shot a perfect 30/30 targets. He then went into the gold medal match against USA’s Walton Eller.
At this point the medal was just an added bonus for the athlete who knew he had already won a Rio 2016 quota place for his country.
After a long wait between the semi-final and the gold medal match due to five of the athletes being involved in a tie-break shoot-off, Scott missed his first target and never managed to get back on top against a very strong Eller, who didn’t miss a target. Scott finished with 26/30.
He said: “It feels amazing after all my hard work and dedication, it’s finally paid off after coming so close a number of times.
It feels amazing after all my hard work and dedication, it’s finally paid off after coming so close a number of times.Steve Scott
“I have spent a lot of hours on the range with my coach, travelling to the correct ranges and practising in high pressure situations.
“I have to admit I was very nervous going into the semi-final because there was so much riding on it, but my training kicked in and thankfully I was able to just stick to my technique and keep hitting the clays.”
For the past 12 months Scott’s only goal has been to win a quota place for the Rio 2016 Olympics. And he admitted that once he achieved that, he lost his focus slightly in the gold medal match.
“After achieving the goal I’ve been aiming for over the last year, I relaxed quite a lot going into the gold medal match,” he continued. “As much as I wanted to go on and win, I think I probably took my foot off the gas a little bit!
“I would like to say a massive thank you to my friend and coach Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoume, Perazzi Italy, as well as UK Sport and the National Lottery for providing the funding to make it possible for me to train with British Shooting.
“I’d also like to thank my family for all their help and support, and of course my girlfriend for putting up with my relentless training schedules - it helps that she’s a shooter as well!”
Scott joins Amber Hill, Ed Ling, Elena Allen and Jennifer McIntosh in the list of shooting athletes who have secured Rio 2016 Olympic quota places for Team GB.
The places won’t necessarily go to the athletes who earned them, but world number eight Scott is comfortably the highest ranked GB shooter in his discipline.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!