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Ian's gunning for trophies

SHARP-SHOOTER Ian Peel hopes to have a few more trophies on his sideboard before he goes for the big one - the Olympics in Athens next year.

IAN Peel is on target for Athens
IAN Peel is on target for Athens

SHARP-SHOOTER Ian Peel hopes to have a few more trophies on his sideboard before he goes for the big one - the Olympics in Athens next year.

The 45-year-old, who lived in Great Harwood, has a busy schedule after sealing a spot in the trap in Greece. The main event this year for the Olympic silver medallist is the World Championships, to be held in Cyprus in September, where around 150 competitors will take part.

"I finished top in qualifying for this so that was a boost but my highest position in the World Championships in the past has been eighth. I want a top 10 finish and maybe a place in the top six. I always go out to win the competition but it is all about on the day. It will be hot there and that doesn't suit me after training in Yorkshire!"

Peel, who has picked up seven Commonwealth Games medals including a silver in the Trap Pairs in Manchester, will fire at 125 targets over three days - 50, 50, 25, and then the top six will go into a final 25 shoot-out. Before the Worlds, however, the British number one faces a trip to the Czech Republic for the European Championships at the end of July.

"I won that in 1996 and came second in 1997 but last year I finished 25th - I had a bad day. But again it is about a top six finish," said Peel, who picked up an award from Hyndburn Council for his Olympic exploits.

He also has the British Championships in the middle of July, which he is expected to do well in, and a World Cup event in Rome in October where the top 12 shooters in the world of that year compete for the number one spot.

"I have never finished in the top three in the World Cup and you would think, with there only being 12, that I would stand a chance. I just don't know what it is!"

But his main sight is set on Athens.

"It is all about consolidating this year and building up for the Olympics. I am four years older and I think I might have peaked in Sydney - I am just trying to relieve some of the pressure," he laughed.

"I won't be one of the favourites but you never know - it is all about the day. At least I have been there before. It is overawing being in the Olympic Village with all the athletes and seeing all the superstars walk past. That put me off in 1988 in my first major event. Now I don't get so easily distracted and I would love to go one better than Australia."


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