Target shooter Ryan Taylor is fighting the New Zealand Olympic Committee's decision not to send him to the London Games despite meeting the criteria and being better than the required standard.
The Levin man qualified at a World Cup event in Milan in May and put his name forward to the New Zealand Olympic Committee, but they denied him, so now he is trying to get a sports lawyer to fight his case
"The criteria that they set, I've shot over and above that twice, and that [criteria] was we manage one international score over 595 and domestically one at 595," Taylor said.
"I shot 596 in Sydney last year and Milan a couple of months ago."
The smallbore outdoor 50-metre prone shooter also shot 596 from 600 at the Target Shooting New Zealand nationals at the Palmerston North Rifle, Rod and Gun Club in February, giving him the necessary qualifying standard.
The Olympic Committee's criteria is that he has to be able to get in the top 16 in the world and Taylor was annoyed they did not think he could.
"I've done that four times in the past year and so we're not too sure what they're going on about. There's no set criteria to say who they pick."
He dealt with one sports lawyer who said he had a good case but went overseas, so now Taylor is on the hunt for another one. But he will need to act quickly with the Olympics at the end of July.
Taylor has been to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he finished 36th, and two Commonwealth Games – Melbourne in 2006 where he was seventh and Delhi in 2010 where he was 14th.
But now Taylor believes he is a much better shooter and would be up to scratch at the London Games.
"At Olympic level you've got a maximum of 55 shooters and at World Cup level there's 120 to 125 professionals.
"At World Cup I've had two top-eight spots on that 596 score. That got sixth both times at World Cup level which is actually a lot tougher than Olympic level."
He thought one of the reasons he had been denied was that no one from the Olympic Committee had been to any target shooting events.
"They still think I'm not capable," Taylor said. "I'm not sure where they got that from; I don't think they quite understand how shooting works."
There was one shotgun shooter threatening to take Taylor's place but now it seems no one will take the one available spot.
"What they've done, it's not on. I've done everything that's been asked of me, over and above."
Once he finds another sports lawyer, Taylor is hoping to be given the all-clear by Friday so he can start getting ready for London.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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