Levin shooter Ryan Taylor has become the first person in a century to successfully appeal an exclusion from the New Zealand Olympic team.
Despite two qualifying scores in four world cup events in the past year, Mr Taylor was left out of the team by New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) in June because they did not believe he could claim a top-16 spot.
Mr Taylor then appealed to the NZOC against his non-selection.
In a decision made public this afternoon The Sports Tribunal of New Zealand said the 32-year-old 50m rifle prone shooter had successfully appealed against his non-selection in the team.
Mr Taylor is delighted with the news.
"It has been a long and drawn-out process. It has been resolved, the right decision has been made. I am happy with the outcome, it should have been done months ago," Mr Taylor said.
Fighting the legal battle had resulted in some sleepless nights but now he could concentrate fully on preparing for the Games, he said.
"It has not been a great build-up, it has been a bit much. You have trouble sleeping. But you have to be mentally tough. You have to switch off and carry on,' he said.
He had been practising throughout and could now concentrate on his aim of achieving 8th place at the Games.
New Zealand has only one shooting Olympic quota, after air rifle earned it at the Oceania championships. However no air rifle athletes qualified for the Olympics.
The position had been given to women's shotgun trap shooting competitor Natalie Rooney, but following Mr Taylor's appeal her position had been revoked.
Barrister Tim Castle said Mr Taylor's selection in the New Zealand side was subject to a reallocation of the quota by the International Shooting Federation.
The appeal was the first of its kind in a century, NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith said this afternoon.
Earlier this year NZSF president David Tomlinson said Mr Taylor had passed the "black and white" qualifying targets he was set but the NZOC was not convinced of his ability.
"Some would look at it and say his scores alone suggest he is more than capable of a top 16 spot, but the Olympic Committee look at the basic black and white," he said.
"We've done all we can to get him a spot at the games."
Taylor's qualifying scores of 596 were set at world cup events in Sydney last year and Milan this year and are the top qualifying marks set by any New Zealand shooter.
The qualifying mark is 595 and the top score possible is 600.
Shooting a 596 score at the 2008 Beijing Olympics would have earned Taylor a share of the bronze medal and a top 8 finish at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
In a release this afternoon a spokeswoman for the NZOC said it supported the outcome after Mr Taylor was deemed eligible for selection.
''This work by the selectors was undertaken following indications the information initially supplied was insufficient and contained some errors.
''New Zealand Shooting also corrected and clarified information previously supplied to the New Zealand Olympic Committee, after the appeal was in train.''
As a result selectors revoked the previous decision and decided there was sufficient evidence that Mr Taylor could finish in the top 16 at the games.
The NZOC would seek the reallocation of the quota spot to Mr Taylor for his discipline.
Mr Taylor had asked a judge to review the case, but the application was withdrawn in the High Court in Wellington this afternoon.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is John Banks' upcoming trial the end for the ACT party?Related story: Banks takes only viable option