Evergreen shotgun champion Michael Diamond from Salamander Bay, New South Wales, has shown that age is no barrier by capping off a hugely successful week for Australia at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup event in Tucson, Arizona, taking second in the men’s trap event.
His success follows that of Victorian women’s trap shooters Laetisha Scanlan (Berwick) and Catherine Skinner (Mansfield), who secured the gold and bronze medals respectively in the women’s trap event, creating an historical outcome for Shooting Australia and proving that the shooting sports are thriving in this country.
According to a report from Shooting Australia, the six-time Olympian entered the second day of competition in equal first place with 49 out 50 targets shot and then reeled off rounds of 22, 24 and 24 to qualify for the semi-final in fourth position on a score of 119.
Diamond hit a perfect round of 15 single-barrel targets in the semi-final, and went into the gold medal match against India’s 2006 World Champion Madhavjit Singh Sandhu. Sandhu prevailed with 13 hits to Diamond’s nine.
It was another solid performance from the 41-year-old against a top quality field that saw 2004 Olympic gold medallist Alexey Alipov (Russia) take the bronze medal from Great Britain’s 26-year old Aaron Heading by 12 to 10 hits.
In 2013, Diamond came very close to a finals berth on several occasions, finishing 4th, 5th and 7th in the three World Cups contested. His last medal was at the 2011 Al Ain World Cup in UAE where he won gold.
Shooting Australia’s CEO Damien Marangon was confident that Diamond is back in the top playing field.
“It’s great to see a shooter of quality like Michael back on the podium,” Marangon said.
“This is a great start of busy international year for Michael, leading into the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.”
Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Adam Vella (Keilor Downs, VIC) finished in seventh position and 23-year-old Michael McNabb (Castle Cove, NSW) was placed 48th.
The selection period for the Commonwealth Games runs until 22 April, with two athletes to be chosen to contest each of the 19 Commonwealth Games shooting events. An official team announcement by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association will be made on 1 May 2014.
A full list of results from the World Cup can be found HERE.