Michael Diamond, pictured in Mexico earlier this year, will head up the Australian team heading to Peru next month for the ISSF World Championships.

Diamond fourth in World Cup opener

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond has finished fourth in the men’s trap at the first World Cup event of 2013 after being edged out in a shoot-off for the bronze medal in Acapulco, Mexico.

Italy’s Valerio Grazini won the gold medal, hitting 14 targets in the final match against USA’s Brian Burrows, who shot 12 to take second place and his first World Cup medal ever.

Diamond, who was shooting internationally for the first time since his fourth place at the 2012 London Olympic Games, had qualified for the semi-finals earlier in the day in fifth place, before winning through to the bronze medal shoot-off with a score of 13 targets from 15.

He faced Italian world number 2 and London silver medallist Massimo Fabbrizi in the shoot-off for bronze, with the pair both shooting 11 targets across the 15 shot match, before the Italian won in sudden death.

Diamond said his performance was a step in the right direction.

“I was able to use this event as a really good warm up for the world championships later this year,” Diamond said. “The more times I am able to shoot under the new rules internationally the better I will be prepared.”

Australian International Shooting Limited Head Shotgun coach Valeriy Timokhin said the pair would work on a few small things ahead of the next World Cup (April 15-24).

“Michael missed a few different targets today but it will give us a few aspects to work on ahead of the next event in Al Ain,” Timokhin said. “We will work on these to gain a better preparation ahead of that World Cup.”

Heading into the second day of competition Diamond was in 12th place after two rounds with scores of 23 and 24, but a consistent performance across his final three rounds saw the six-time Olympian rocket into contention.

Diamond shot a pair of 24’s in his third and fourth round before a perfect final round of 25 saw him qualify for the final with a score of 120.

Fellow six-time Olympian Russell Mark will contest the men’s double trap on Wednesday evening Australian time.

Italy has taken four of the first six medals at the event so far.




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