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Bye bye selection limbo, hello my Olympic dream

MUSTO-sponsored Charlotte Kerwood - a Commonwealth gold medal winner – is one of the team of Olympic hopefuls writing for Metro in the build-up to the Games this summer. 

‘There’s no getting around the fact the last month or so has been hard for me and my family as we waited for my Olympic selection to be rubber-stamped.  An appeal made over British Shooting’s women’s trap place meant my spot was not confirmed until after the official team announcement date.

Thankfully, I came through that. I know it has happened in a lot of sports but it’s not very nice because you’re stuck in limbo for a while.  Plus, I had to go out to Cyprus to the European Championships and compete with all this hanging over me.

The fact I finished eighth at least tells me I can compete under pressure but it is not an experience I would like to go through again.  The appeal process was tough.  I had to hand British Shooting a diary of my last 18 months to show how I’d been training and competing.  Recalling the last year and a half, even with the help of a diary, is not easy but thankfully all the effort was worth it in the end.

When I found out the result of the appeal, I can’t describe the feeling – I was just desperate to find out if my name was confirmed on the British Olympic Association website!

Although I’m a little disappointed not to have been announced with the rest of the shooting team, the feeling was incredible – it’s still not quite sunk in that I will be representing my country at a home Olympic Games.  I’m delighted it’s now sorted and I can focus on competition again.

I feel like I’m a lot tougher now than I was. I’m not letting anything distract me from my performance and, in preparation for the Games, I have plenty of competitions but needless to say, my focus is completely on London.  I’m looking forward to every aspect of it, especially after the obstacles I had to clear to get here.

We move into the Olympic Village on 16 July and I will be going to the opening ceremony as my first competition is not until 4 August.  It will be surreal sharing a village with athletes of all different shapes and sizes – from tiny gymnasts to huge weightlifters – and all this in the centre of London.

With the experience from Beijing four years ago behind me, I’ll be looking to win a medal but, driven on by the ups and downs of 2012, I will also make sure I thoroughly enjoy it.

DID YOU KNOW? Charlotte’s gun is a custom-made Italian 12-bore Perazzi shotgun worth £7,000 and she spends £5,400 a year going through around 20,000 cartridges.

Charlotte Kerwood is an ambassador for performance clothing brand MUSTO.’

(Originally published in Metro newspaper)

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