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Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Thursday, 31 January 2008

Kerwood aiming for Beijing glory

By Mark Barden

Charlotte Kerwood
Kerwood's elite-level shooting experience belies her young age
Olympic shooting gold is Charlotte Kerwood's target in 2008 after she missed out on a trip to the 2004 Athens Games by the narrowest of margins.

If selected for Team GB, the 21-year-old British shotgun ace will be among the favourites in the women's Olympic trap event in Beijing this August.

"I only missed out on qualification for Athens by one point, so I'm determined to make up for that disappointment if I go to China," Kerwood told BBC Sport.

British Shooting is expected to submit its nominations to the British Olympic Association in early June, so final selection is not a done deal.

606: DEBATE

But East Sussex sharp-shooter Kerwood will surely be on the plane to Beijing in August if her amazing career to date is anything to go by.

She burst on to the international scene in 2002 when, aged just 15, she won women's double trap gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Kerwood defended her title at the 2006 Commonwealths in Australia, and also won the double trap pairs title alongside Rachel Parish.

She has maintained her medal-winning form despite a switch to Olympic trap after Games organisers dropped the women's double trap from their programme.

Charlotte Kerwood
To win at the 2002 Commonwealths then defend her title in 2006 was exceptional - we have high hopes for her

British Shooting chairman
Phil Boakes

"I won individual silver and bronze, as well as a team silver, at World Cup events and finished the year as the British number one in my discipline, so it was a pretty successful 2007 for me," Kerwood said.

This year promises to be another busy one as she combines international competitions with training, both at home and with her coach Marcello Dradi in Italy.

"We have the European Championships this year, as well as four World Cup events starting in April in the build-up to the Olympics in Beijing," she said.

"I'm not sure I will shoot in all four - it's quite hard to try and ensure that your form peaks that many times in one year.

"I will, though, be going to the World Cup competition in Beijing (in April) because it's being staged at the Olympic shooting venue.

"It will be run as our events at the Games will be organised, so that will be very important in terms of preparation."

Kerwood will also be talking as many of her GB team-mates as possible about their Olympic experiences.

KERWOOD'S KEY 2008 DATES
Shooting
10-21 Apr: World Cup (Beijing)
1-11 May: World Cup (Kerville, USA)
2-3 Aug: Euro Champs (UK)
8-24 Aug: Olympic Games

"I had a chat with (Olympic double trap champion) Richard Faulds recently about what it's like competing at the Games, and I'll be talking to Ian Peel (Olympic trap silver medallist in 2000) soon," she said.

"There are 75 targets in my event, and if you hit 70 of them that should be enough to get you into the final - then anything can happen."

Kerwood is currently training in Bologna with her Italian coach, and also practises - and works as an instructor - at the shooting ground her family runs at Northall, near Haywards Heath.

"My parents are very good when it comes to training and taking time off to travel to competitions," she said.

Her twice-monthly flights to Italy mean she has few problems passing through security at Gatwick Airport with the 5,000 shotgun made specifically for her by sponsors Perazzi.

"The British Airways check-in staff there have got to know me quite well," Kerwood explained.

"They take my gun at the check-in desk and make sure it gets onto the plane safely and is well looked after, then I pick it up at the other end."

Charlotte Kerwood is among the British athletes BBC Sport will be following during the countdown to Beijing 2008.




see also
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Event guide: Clay target
06 Mar 06 |  Shooting
Who's on track for Olympic gold?
28 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Record-breaker Kerwood nets gold
23 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
English shooters bag three golds
19 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Teenager takes trap title
01 Aug 02 |  Shooting


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