Diamond shines with silver and another Rio quota
4 March 2015
SHOOTING: In what has been a terrific World Cup campaign, Australia’s most decorated shotgun shooter, dual Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond has secured a silver medal in Men’s Trap at the ISSF World Cup in Acapulco, a second win in as many days for the team.
Diamond’s top-two podium finish has also earned Australia a highly-contested and sought after quota for the Rio Olympic Games in the Men’s trap event.
Chef de Mission of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Kitty Chiller commended the team on Twitter, saying, “Congrats to @AUSOlympicTeam champ Michael Diamond & @ShootingAus for 2nd World Cup Silver and 2nd Rio quota spot in Mexico today #RoadtoRio.”
Diamond and fellow Aussie, Atlanta Olympic Games bronze medallist Adam Vella competed across two days of qualification, amidst an Olympic class field of 84 athletes.
Diamond led the competition from the start, recording a total of 124/125 targets, and safely landing a spot in the six-person final. Vella finished his World Cup campaign in Acapulco on 121/125 targets, just a whisker shy of making a berth in the final.
In a tightly contested semi-final, where everyone starts back at zero, Diamond proved too strong, maintaining his leadership, and finishing on 13/15 targets to secure a gold-medal match against Italy’s Massimo Fabbrizi. The medal match saw the Italian win the title by one target, and India’s Manavjit Singh Sandhu take the bronze.
Diamond spoke with Shooting Australia, expressing his relief at having secured a quota for Australia.
“It was a very tough competition, and a very tight semi-final, where I didn’t realise right until the end that I was on equal 13 targets with Massimo, which meant Australia had just won the quota, and I was in the gold-medal match,” Diamond said.
“It takes a lot of pressure off me, and I’m very happy to have come back strongly.”
Apparently, Diamond’s calm composure was anything but that.
“I was quite nervous throughout the competition, with my heart rate being high, at close to 140 beats per minute. It suited me for the competition though, and helped me get off to a flying start this year!” he said.
Shooting Australia High Performance Manager, Tim Mahon, who is with the team, said, “Michael has that X factor that makes him the champion he is. He shot brilliantly today to win our fourth Rio Olympic quota. He continues to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Shooting Australia CEO Damien Marangon praised Diamond’s effort, saying, “Michael is a true champion of our sport, and what an amazing way to start off this year, with a silver medal and a second Rio Games quota place for Australia in as many days.”
“The Australian team has certainly been well represented, with all three athletes at the Shotgun World Cup in Mexico posting world-class scores, to place within the top end of the competition, and two finishing on the podium. Despite two athletes battling sickness, Australia has shone through, to win two silver medals and two quota places for Rio, so well done to the team.”
Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist Laetisha Scanlan, 24, opened up Australia’s account yesterday, with a silver medal and a Rio quota place, in Women’s Trap.
The Australian shooting team has now secured four quota places in the qualifying period, towards the Rio Olympic Games.
Rio Olympic Games quotas won for the Australian Shooting team:
- Warren Potent (Currans Hill, NSW) in 50m Rifle Prone Men
- Catherine Skinner (East Melbourne, VIC) in Trap Women
- Laetisha Scanlan (Berwick, VIC) in Trap Women
- Michael Diamond (Fingal Bay, NSW) in Trap Men