Steve Scott is all smiles after winning Olympic bronze in Rio.
It's been the best year of his career, but Olympic medallist Steve Scott ends 2016 unsure of what the future holds.
The Battle shooter won men’s double trap bronze in Rio during August after defeating fellow Team GB marksman Tim Kneale with a perfect 30/30 in the bronze medal match.
But the discipline could now become excluded from the Olympic programme under plans announced by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).
Scott told Observer Sport: “It’s obviously been a great year with the Olympics and stuff like that, probably the best of my career.
“The Olympics was absolutely amazing, I absolutely loved it. I was so lucky to be there and participate, let alone come away with a medal.
“We got a big funding boost thanks to my medal, but my discipline looks like it’s going to be removed from the Olympics. The double trap is a men-only discipline and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) are trying to be more gender-neutral.”
The ISSF’s event programme currently has nine men’s and six women’s events. In order to achieve 50% gender equality in events, the organisation plans to convert three men’s events - 50m rifle prone, 50m pistol and double trap - to mixed gender team events. The men’s double trap would be replaced with a trap mixed gender team event.
This recommendation, along with those involving the other events in question, will be put to the ISSF executive committee and ISSF administrative council that will meet in New Delhi during the ISSF World Cup event in late February.
The plans have been strongly opposed by the double trap community, which claims the number of athletes participating in shooting sports would decrease and the hopes of a whole generation of young athletes who are enthusiastically dedicated to double trap would be dashed.
Compromise solutions such as a double trap mixed team event or resurrecting women’s double trap, which was taken off the Olympic programme after the 2004 Games, have been suggested.
If the proposed changes go ahead, Scott not only faces the prospect of having to change disciplines, but he would also lose the funding he currently receives for double trap.
“If it does go ahead, I can change over to Olympic trap, I just need to find some backing for it,” Scott continued. “It’s a lot of money. An average day’s training is £200-500 in fuel, ammunition and clays - and that’s not including a coach.”
The world number four in double trap, Scott has competed in one Olympic trap event in the past and beat World Championship medallists.
“I know I’ve got the ability; it’s just a case of putting it into practice,” Scott went on. “It (Olympic trap) is a lot easier to do - double trap is a lot more technical - but there’s a lot more people that shoot it.
“I’m very competitive and I love the sport. It’s in my blood and I love my job. Very few people get up in the morning and think ‘I can’t wait to get to work’ but for me I get to go shooting and it’s a pretty good feeling.”
The 31-year-old wished to thank the support of Herstmonceux-based vehicle leasing company Carmyke Leasing, shotgun manufacturers Perazzi and ammunition manufacturers Fiocchi.
Posted by Thom Erik Syrdahl
Source - http://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/