WELLINGTON’S shooting stars Abbey and Ed Ling have both been selected to represent England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with the husband and wife duo looking for medal success Down Under.

The Games take place on Australia’s Gold Coast from April 4-15, and the Lings spoke to the County Gazette after they were confirmed in the Team England squad, for the shotgun discipline.

These are Abbey’s first Games, and she said: “I was over the moon [to be selected] – I’m always proud to represent my country.

“I had to keep the secret a while, so I was on tenterhooks.”

Ed participated in the most recent Games, Glasgow 2014, and won bronze for Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

He said: “I’m overwhelmed to take part in the Commonwealth Games again.

“I was in the England team in Australia for the 2006 Games, so to go back there is special.

“It’s nice to be in a team with my wife; we’re used to it, but this is our first major, multi-sport event [together].”

Abbey missed out on Olympic qualification in 2012 and 2016, but there was a much happier outcome this time round, and she hinted that the birth of their daughter Amy last year has helped.

She said: “[To qualify] we took part in the Great Britain selection shoots, and the top two qualify as the England candidates.

“The England squad is very strong – for me it’s the hardest to qualify for.

“I’ve been juggling a baby alongside the shooting, so that’s occupied other areas, but sometimes that can help with the shooting.”

The Lings are not the only Somerset shooters in the squad, with 20-year-old Richard Huish College student Ellie Seward also chosen for the shotgun.

Abbey added: “Ellie used to go to school in Chard, and I remember her looking up to us as role models.

“So it’s nice for her to be in the same team, and it’s all a learning curve for her, but don’t underestimate her level of performance.”

The timing of the Games mean that the Lings will start their training earlier than usual, and in colder weather.

But they’ve already organised their programmes, and will be out in Malaga for an competition as preparation.

Ed said: “We’re aiming to time our preparations so we’re really performing at the time of the competition.”

In terms of their objectives for Gold Coast 2018, he added: “Everyone goes into the event looking for gold, everyone’s aiming to win, but of course any Commonwealth medal would be great.”

They run their own business, Ling Shooting, which offers tuition and entertainment to individuals and groups, at Heywood Estate, Nynehead.

So how will their training for and participation in the Games affect them day-to-day between now and April?

“It won’t affect us too much, as we run our own business from the farm, with the shooting range there too,” Abbey said.

“And in the grandparents we have willing babysitters!”