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Vella gunning for World Championships glory on road to Rio

10 September 2015

SHOOTING: It may be over a decade since his greatest Olympic triumph but the fire is well and truly still burning for trap shooter Adam Vella.

The Athens 2004 bronze medallist has been bouncing all over the globe with the hope of grabbing his third Olympic berth at the Rio 2016 Games.

Having secured a podium finish at his debut Olympic Games, Vella missed out on Beijing four years later, before bouncing back to make London 2012 where he finished 15th.

With the 2016 Games creeping closer and closer Vella’s next step on the road to Rio is this week’s Shotgun World Championships in Lonato, Italy, where the top two athletes will secure Olympic qualification.

“I’ve been feeling really good heading into the competition so all I can do is trust in the training I have been doing,” Vella said.

“Hopefully all the stars align, everything works and I’m in the right frame of mind for the competition.

“It is one of my favourite venues over there so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Despite feeling good in the training paddock Vella couldn’t match it with his rivals at the most recent World Cup event.

“I wasn’t happy with my performance in Azerbaijan. I missed an early target which I wouldn’t usually miss. I got a bit jumpy and it really cost me in that competition.

“I’ve hopefully ironed out the specific issues ready for this next event.”

While a strong performance in Italy is on Vella’s immediate radar he knows that everything is building towards next August in Rio.

“The Olympics is pinnacle of our sport and certainly my motivation.

“After winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games the flame was certainly reignited to go on and make another Olympics.

“My kids are also getting old enough to be able to come over and watch me compete so it would be great to have the family there if I did make it for these next Games.”

Vella missed only four of 125 targets to make the Olympic final in Athens and it is likely to take such precision to challenge for a second medal in Rio.

“If you make that top six anything can happen.

“The way the final works, where everyone scores reset for the final, ensures that it really opens it up. Even if someone has a big lead everyone still has a chance for the gold.”

While a second Olympic medal would put him amongst illustrious company in both shooting and Australian sports history the Melburnian has achieved plenty away from competition as well.

Vella established Oz Shooting in 2007 where he instructs casual clay target shooters on two ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne.

“We do plenty of events and it is getting really popular which means it keeps me really busy, especially for the latter half of the year.

“I’m putting a lot of energy to both my business and the sport.”

His venture is certainly paying off with plenty of Vella’s students taking up the sport soon after.

“We find that people are coming for a casual shot then next minute you know their purchasing their own equipment and I am seeing out on the range on a regular basis.

“It is really rewarding to teach people all the safety elements within the sport, get them interested and then see them go on and compete.”

Vella and teammate Michael Diamond kick off their World Championship campaign on Friday afternoon (4:50pm AEST).

Live results can be found here>>>

Matt Bartolo

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