Coward-Holley fires his way to Olympic trap bronze

Matt Coward-Holley won Team GB's 17th medal of Tokyo 2020 with bronze in the men's trap shooting final.

The world and European champion was forced to give up a promising schoolboy rugby career after twice breaking his back.

He travelled to Rio as a reserve but two years ago became the first Briton to win a world title in an individual Olympic shotgun discipline.

Now he has an Olympic medal to his name, following in the footsteps of Team GB's Ed Ling in the same event at Rio 2016.

Coward-Holley, 26, from Chelmsford, said: “To come away with a medal, to be European and world champion, and now Olympic bronze medallist is a little bit surreal.

“We all come here fighting for gold but, at the end of the day, it’s the Olympics and any medal is phenomenal.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet, I think it’s going to take a while to comprehend that medal hanging around my neck.

“We had Ed Ling in Rio, Steve Scott [in the Rio 2016 double trap] as well – we like bronze medals."

Coward-Holley struck 33 of 40 targets in the final, as Czech pair Jiri Liptak and David Kostelecky claimed gold and silver.

He fired 14 consecutive hits to move into medal contention but three misses in nine saw him place third come the final elimination.

He added: “It’s nice to get a reward at the end of it, having made all the sacrifices to play rugby and now making all the sacrifices to compete in this. To come away with a medal makes it all worthwhile.

“I didn’t really imagine this until a couple of years ago when I’d broken onto the scene. That was when the Olympic dream became real and it could happen.

“Going to an Olympics was always a dream but it doesn’t quite sink in that you could go and win medals until you’re close to the event."