By Daniel Etchells

Peter Wilson reached the pinnacle of his career by winning a gold medal at London 2012 ©Getty ImagesBritain's Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson has announced his retirement from competitive target shooting.

The 28-year-old double trap shooter has revealed he will retire from the sport with immediate effect.

Wilson has called time on his career with not only an Olympic gold medal at London 2012 to his name but also three World Cup golds and one silver, as well as a European silver and junior gold.

"With regret I have decided to give up competitive Olympic double trap," said the Dorset-born shooter, in announcing his retirement.

"Since having achieved the goals I set myself, I have struggled to find a new incentive to compete."

Wilson last represented British Shooting by winning a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Al Ain World Cup in 2013, but he has since focussed his attentions elsewhere, with one avenue seeing him take on the role of double trap coach for young British shooter, James Dedman.

Although he is calling an end to his competitive career, he insists he will still continue to work hard to improve the awareness of the sport he has grown to love.

Phil Scanlan (left), British Shootings team leader from London 2012, said Peter Wilson (right) has been a great ambassador for the sport of shooting ©Getty ImagesPhil Scanlan (left), British Shootings team leader from London 2012, said Peter Wilson (right) has been a great ambassador for the sport of shooting ©Getty Images

"I am still passionate about all forms of shooting and will always be ready to do what I can to promote it to a wider audience," he said.

"Olympic double trap has been very good to me and I am very grateful to everyone who has had a hand in my success but I would rather go out now, at the top after my most recent success in Al Ain, and move on to the next challenge."

Chief executive of British Shooting Hamish McInnes, said: "Peter Wilson's successes while representing British Shooting have been remarkable.

"His determination, dedication and attention to detail have made him a phenomenal athlete and we are proud that he represented our sport on the world stage.

"He may be stepping down from competitive shooting, but we look forward to continuing our relationship moving forward to ensure our sport continues to grow and become ever-more popular."

British Shooting's team leader from London 2012, Phil Scanlan, added: "Peter has been a great ambassador for the sport of shooting.

"His dedication and hard work have set a great example to the next group of shooters coming through and looking to follow in his footsteps."

Elena Allen (left) has been selected for Podium on the World Class Performance Programme ©Getty ImagesElena Allen (left) has been selected for Podium on the World Class Performance Programme ©Getty Images

Meanwhile, British Shooting has announced the names of the athletes to be included on the World Class Performance Programme (WCP).

The WCP was created by UK Sport and is funded by the UK National Lottery.

It was put in place to ensure the UK's most talented athletes have every chance of realising their potential in major competition.

British Shooting's performance group uses set criteria when making athlete selection, using objective evidence and their expert views to compile the group of top performers in the country.

The athletes named on the programme are separated into three distinct levels.

The top two levels are Podium, supporting athletes with realistic medal winning capabilities at the next Olympic Games, and Podium Potential, comprising of athletes whose performances have suggested that they have realistic medal winning capabilities for 2020 and newly funded sports that are demonstrating the ability to be competitive by 2020.

Ed Ling, Elena Allen and Steven Scott have been selected for Podium while Aaron Heading, Amber Hill and Jennifer McIntosh are among the eight chosen for Podium Potential.

Wilson's protégée Dedman is one of 13 athletes to have been given a place on the GB Academy Programme, with a further nine athletes, including Coral Kennerley, Gabrielle Buckley and Ken Parr, set to undergo a rigorous six-month confirmation period, after which, they have to gain a permanent spot on the Academy Programme.

"I would like to congratulate all the athletes named on the world class performance programme," said Steve Seligmann, British Shooting performance director.

"They have demonstrated the potential to fulfill their Olympic aspirations at Rio, Tokyo and beyond and it's very exciting to be able to make this announcement.

"Our vision is to be recognised as a world leading Olympic shooting nation and we are entering an important phase as we aim to secure further quota places for Rio, as well as develop a GB Performance pathway that will produce a consistent supply of world class athletes aspiring to gain Olympic success.

"I would like to thank UK Sport, in association with the National Lottery for providing the funding to make this programme possible."

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