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Olympics training update from shooting ambassador Charlotte Kerwood

MUSTO shooting ambassador Charlotte Kerwood writes a column in The Metro about her Olympic training:

Top trap shooter Charlotte Kerwood is one of the team of London 2012 hopefuls writing for Metro throughout their preparations for the Games.’

‘It’s been a long build-up but now it really feels like everyone is getting geared up for next year’s Olympics.  The growing sense of excitement was brought home to me by one of my friends who is currently training to be a teacher.

Each class in her school is selecting an athlete to follow next year, and her’s has chosen me.  So, there is now a class called Kerwood, which is very flattering.  I went to meet them a couple of weeks ago and they asked me loads of questions about shooting.

When Team GB went to Beijing in 2008, we were given a lion as a mascot, and recently I decided to give it to the kids to thank them for supporting me.

At the moment I’m in Kazakhstan for a shooting Grand Prix. The competition is an organised friendly where some of the world’s best shooters get together to compete. I did really well to finish second in the Olympic Trap competition on Monday, earning the silver medal. It is exactly where I want to be at the moment, although there is still that gold to aim for which keeps the pressure on.

I have mixed up my coaching a little recently. I’m still working with my main coach Kevin Gill but I am also working with Marcello Dradi. Marcello used to coach me in the past and it is really good to be working with him again. He is also based in Italy so working with him gives me an excuse to avoid the cold weather – I’m a fair weather girl after all!’

‘I spend hours making sure that all the details are perfect when I shoot as it is vital my concentration is second-to-none. I don’t want anything to distract me. My gun is a custom-made Perazzi which I have used for years and it feels like an extension of my arm. I wear safety glasses to protect my eyes from clay pieces and I am slightly obsessive about ensuring the lenses are clean. I’m also very specific in selecting what I wear as it’s crucial that my swing and movement are completely unhindered and I find the cut of MUSTO jackets perfect when I am shooting clays and also when I am in the field.

 The process for next year’s selection isn’t clear yet. It might be based on results from an international competition or it could be a special selection shoot. Either way, the selection process is almost as nerve-racking as the Games themselves. I’m going to continue training hard over the winter and will head to Australia next month for a couple of competitions and more training.

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