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Out-of-pocket shooter motivated by 'cock up'

MARK GEENTY IN GLASGOW
Last updated 08:09 22/07/2014
Ryan Taylor
ROBERT KITCHIN/ Fairfax NZ
KIWI SHOOTER: Ryan Taylor.

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Disillusioned and thousands of dollars out of pocket, New Zealand shooter Ryan Taylor was ready to lock his rifle in the cabinet for good after the London Olympics debacle.

But the elephant on the range for the New Zealand Shooting Federation isn't going away just yet.

Taylor will take his place in the men's 50m rifle prone on Monday at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre at Carnoustie, aiming for a medal at his third Commonwealth Games after a tough two years.

The Levin builder finished 25th in London in 2012 amid a storm of publicity, after successfully appealing his non-selection to the Sports Tribunal when it was revealed incorrect qualifying scores were forwarded to the NZ Olympic Committee (NZOC).

It meant Timaru trap shooter Natalie Rooney, now a team-mate in Glasgow, missed out after being named in New Zealand's solitary quota spot.

Taylor pursued the NZSF to pay his legal bills, which he now estimated at over $16,000, but he's yet to see a cent. Asked about it before he departed for Glasgow, Taylor said the situation still grated.

"It's still disappointing. I've had to fork out a lot of money and it wasn't even my fault," Taylor said.

"They [NZSF] said they supported me through the whole ordeal, but I believe it was their cock-up, and they didn't offer to help me out [financially].

"You just have to forget about it, I guess. Hopefully there's some sort of justice at the end of the line. I can't let it affect me. It's a good way to use it as motivation to prove a point."

NZSF president Ewen Pirie, who took over in September 2012, refused to comment on what he termed "historical events", while the NZOC said any compensation was a matter between Taylor and the NZSF.

It's a tricky case. At the time, then-NZSF president David Tomlinson laid the blame at the NZOC who rejected the original NZSF recommendation that Taylor and Rooney both be selected for London.

Tomlinson said Gavin Paton, the national sport development manager who is with the nine-strong national team in Glasgow, was made a "scapegoat" for a minor error where one Taylor score was not submitted with his nomination in 2012.

Selection controversy hung over every Games, and there were a few more for New Zealand hopefuls ahead of Glasgow.

Nicky Samuels successfully appealed to Triathlon New Zealand for not nominating her for selection in the individual event; while appeals from Sarah Her-Lee (table tennis), Scott Wilson and Paul Wilson (shooting) and Joy Williams (table tennis) were all rejected by the Sports Tribunal after they weren't nominated by their national bodies.

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One selection appeal to the Sports Tribunal was pending, that of Monique Dell who missed out to Kristie Baillie for the final spot in the women's 4x400m after initially being included subject to fitness. A decision is expected within days.

The NZOC encouraged the appeal process but stipulated all legal costs must be covered by the athlete.

That leaves Taylor chasing precious metal on the Glasgow podium rather than monetary wealth. Father Grant, with whom he finished sixth in the pairs at Melbourne in 2006, would also be there on the New Zealand management team.

"If it wasn't for the support and backing of my amazing parents I'd probably have chucked it in [after London]."

Taylor recorded qualifying scores in Sydney and Brisbane, and last week completed his preparations with a seventh placing in a World Cup event in Beijing which is a good formline for a Commonwealth Games.

"I expect myself to come away with a top-eight at least and I'd be disappointed if I didn't get a medal."

- Stuff

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