Dorset Olympic hero Peter Wilson targets Rio Games after collecting MBE
Dorset shooting star Peter Wilson received an MBE yesterday – and has now set his sights on defending his Olympic crown in Brazil in four years’ time.
Mr Wilson, from Glanvilles Wootton near Sherborne, won a gold medal in the double trap shooting competition at London 2012.
The marksman secured the gold after firing 188 from 200 clays to win the double trap event at his maiden Games.
He and fellow Olympic and Paralympic gold medal winners attended yesterday’s investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace to receive MBEs from the Prince of Wales.
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Mr Wilson said his life had changed dramatically since winning gold but he was now focused on trying to make the British team for the Rio Games in 2016.
He said: “This is incredible, I can’t stop smiling. This has changed my life, this is something else.
“I’m going to do my best to go to Rio. It’s not quite as simple as rocking up and doing the business, but it’s something I’m aiming towards.”
In the meantime, farmer’s son Mr Wilson says he intends to cut back on his competitive shooting.
He said he would require time to adapt to changes to his discipline, identifying just two tournaments he wishes to enter this year.
He said: “With my future, British Shooting have allowed me to dictate my training. I need time to train so my competitive schedule has gone on the back-burner and my training both here in Britain and in Dubai (with mentor Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum) will increase.
“I want to be in as good a position as possible for when the quota places and golden tickets for the Olympics are made available. That won’t be until the back end of next year.
“I want to get my head down in March when I will be back in Dubai. I want to get my head around this new discipline that is double trap. It’s still two clays in the air but it is different and it will take both me and the rest of the world a bit of time to get my head around.
“I said after the Olympics that I want to see how good I can be.
“I am the gold medallist from London 2012 but I still don’t think I am as good as I can be, I still think there is more in the tank and I want to push myself further.
“If I have to keep competing throughout the year I will not improve, I don’t want to burn out before the end of the year.
“I want to do a Grand Prix in Italy and I want to go to the World Championships at the end of the year.
“I still have to qualify for that and prove that I am good enough to go, so all being well I will do that.
“But the worst case scenario is that I don’t go, I train harder and next year I can be better than I have ever been before.”
Mr Wilson was seen on television at Christmas taking part in a one-off Christmas revival of the TV show Superstars.
A male team and a female team challenged in events including athletics, archery, javelin, cycling, kayaking, and gymnastics. Most of the action took place at the University of Bath.
Amateur boxer Anthony Joshua, who won super-heavyweight gold at London 2012, was one of the other athletes to receive an MBE yesterday.
When the imposing fighter, who is 6ft 6in, shook hands with the Prince after the presentation, he said Charles joked with him, saying: “Shouldn’t you be playing basketball?”
Sir Quentin Blake, one of Britain’s best loved children’s illustrators, was earlier knighted by the Prince at the investiture ceremony after a career spanning 64 years.
The 80-year-old artist’s distinctive energetic style of drawings and paintings have graced classic books by authors such as Roald Dahl, Joan Aiken and Dr Seuss.
Blake joked that his new title was a step down from his standing in some countries.
Speaking about the knighthood, he said: “It’s a huge surprise in one way and in another I’ve got used to it.
“I’m published a lot in France and Europe generally and a lot of them assume that I am one, in fact there was a broadcast on French radio that referred to me as Lord Quentin all the way through.”