Skeet shooter Amber Hill is 'heartbroken' after Tokyo Olympics withdrawal

Top British medal prospect Amber Hill admits she is heartbroken after a positive COVID-19 test ended her Olympic dream.

Hill received the news before she flew out to Tokyo, where she was due to compete in Sunday’s qualifying for the women’s skeet event.

The 23-year old former Claires Court School student finished sixth five years ago as a teenager but had set a world record score during qualifying for Tokyo.

“There are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” she said.

“After five years of training and preparation, I’m absolutely devastated to say that last night I received a positive Covid-19 test, meaning I’ve had to withdraw from Team GB’s shooting team.

“Although I don’t have any symptoms, I will now isolate as per the Government guidance.

“I will be back from this, but right now I need some time to reflect and take in what has happened.

“I would like to wish the best of luck to all of Team GB who are out in Tokyo, especially the shooting team who have supported me massively throughout my career.”

Alongside swimmer Adam Peaty, who will seek to defend his 100m breaststroke title live on Eurosport and discovery+ on Monday, Hill, from Windsor, was predicted to get Team GB off to an winning start, especially after her record-breaking win in Delhi earlier this year.

“This is an incredibly sad situation for Amber after she’s worked so hard to earn her Olympic place,” said Team GB shooting coach Steven Seligmann.

“Our focus is to now make sure Amber is kept safe and well, both physically and mentally, and we have the support in place to help her through this difficult period.”

Hill reached the Olympic final five years ago with her grandfather Bill Rogers in the stands, the emotional embrace that followed needed no words to explain.

He died in 2019 and Hill had said he wouldn’t be far from her mind in Japan.

She was just 10 years old when he took her to her local shooting range because she didn’t want to watch her brother play rugby.

Within five years Hill had won her first World Cup medal, pipping another Tokyo hopeful, Dina Asher-Smith, to the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year prize in the process.

That was the same year she met coach Joe Neville, her grandfather deciding she needed more expert guidance to turn youthful promise into podium potential.

Despite being only 23, Hill was one of the more experienced members of the shooting team having represented Team GB at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

She went on to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in 2017 and won silver for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

She’s currently ranked as the best in her discipline in the world and recently won a bronze medal at the European Championships in Osijek.

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+, The Streaming Home of the Olympics.

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