Dubai: World record holder Tim Kneale has expressed disappointment at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to remove the men’s double trap from the Olympic Games, starting from the 2020 Tokyo.
Earlier this year, the IOC announced sweeping changes to Olympic shooting disciplines in an attempt to introduce greater gender equality in the sport. It was decided to altogether delete the men’s double trap discipline and replace it with an event for mixed teams from the next Games.
As per protocol, the ISSF regulations are revised every four years, and the latest rules became effective January 1, 2017.
Given the fact that Great Britain has been among the most successful nations at the Games in double trap, it would greatly affect a country that boasts Olympic champions such as Richard Faulds and Peter Wilson alongside Steve Scott and Kneale.
“It is disappointing that they have changed the rule and removed an event that has been so popular and people friendly,” said Kneale. “As a discipline, double trap was always easy to understand from a spectator point of view. And one of the things that disappoint me is that a lot of things at Olympic Games are driven through people engagement. So to do away with the double trap is disappointing indeed,”
Kneale was speaking at the Jebel Ali Shooting Club, where he was a special invitee of RL 360, the award-winning offshore financial services company, on Thursday.
However, Kneale welcomed the addition of a new event in the form of the mixed double trap at Olympics. “Bringing in the mixed pairs is great for the sport,” he said.
“The fact that two people, a male and female will compete and shoot together for a medal is a novelty for our sport. I think that’s going to be a great addition to the sport.”
Kneale shot his way to fame at the 2014 ISSF World Cup meet in Munich, Germany, where he attained a massive score of 148 out of a maximum 150 targets to establish a world record for the men’s double trap. Following his world record feat, Kneale was given the honour to lead the Isle of Man delegation at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, where he ended in 12th place.
The 35-year-old who now resides in Langport, England redeemed himself in 2015 when he won a silver in the Double Trap at the World Shotgun Championships in Lonato, Italy, losing the title to Russia’s Vasily Mosin. However, this performance earned him a spot on Team GB at the 2016 Rio Games.
“The focus right now is on making a smooth transition [to the new Olympic category]. So with this in mind, Tokyo 2020 is definitely on my mind. But before that my next target is the Commonwealth Games with the Isle of Man team,” he said.
“There are just the subtle differences between the two disciplines. I feel we lack the consistency in Great Britain. But at the moment we are developing well and bringing home the gold medal in Tokyo will surely be among the things to achieve in the near future.”