Royal appointment helps Wilson

01 August 2012 / 11:02

British shooter Peter Wilson will go for Olympic gold on Thursday with a little help from the Dubai Royal Family.

Wilson, 25, from Dorset, is the double trap world-record holder and current world number two, and is Team GB's main medal hope at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

In his corner is none other than Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, the Olympic gold medallist in the same event at Athens in 2004 and a member of Dubai's ruling family.

This unlikely alliance - think Prince Harry coaching Usain Bolt - was forged on the shooting circuit after Wilson lost his funding.

"He is a phenomenal coach," said Wilson. "I am extremely lucky and I can't really labour that point more heavily. He is a phenomenal guy.

"I lost my funding in 2008. It was cut to the sport, which went down from 55 athletes to five. I have to admit that I wasn't shooting my best at that time.

"Moving forward, Ahmed was there. We were good friends on the competitive circuit. We got chatting about all sorts of bits and pieces, mainly about squash to be totally honest. We just became friends.

"He said that he was going to quit after Beijing. I said: 'Well, I'm about to lose my funding'. And we had a deal over a coffee and a handshake to a certain extent.

"I flew out to Dubai that winter. That was where the magic happened. Since then I haven't looked back.

"Subsequently, I have got my funding back this year. I was ranked number one in the UK. Ever since then I have been taking little steps forward to this one goal."