Near-miss Diamond to press onto Rio



Michael Diamond has vowed to press on to Rio in the quest for a third Olympic gold medal - and a place in Australian sporting history - despite another excruciating near-miss at the London Games.

Competing at his sixth Olympics, 40-year-old Diamond led the six-man final with just five of 25 shots remaining when he missed twice in succession and plunged in a shoot-off for bronze with a 145 out of 150 score.

Then, for the second Olympics in a row, he lost a sudden-death bronze medal shoot-off. He missed with his fourth shot to hand the medal to Kuwait's Fehaid Aldeehan.

The fourth-place result was the more shattering as Diamond had been imperious in qualifying, setting an Olympic record with a perfect 125 out of 125 to lead by one going into the final.

While the scoreboard showed Diamond lost it with those two misses late in the final, he pointed to a loss of technique midway through final that proved crucial.

"I actually moved the gun before I saw the target and I never ever do that," Diamond said.

"But I did it there and I missed it and I got pretty annoyed with myself.

"From there I was really trying hard to regroup myself but found it a little bit difficult."

Diamond has two gold medals in the trap - one at Atlanta 1996 and the other on home soil in Sydney four years later.

He was aiming to join a list of just three Australians - swimmer Dawn Fraser, equestrian rider Andrew Hoy and hockey player Rechelle Hawkes - to have won a gold medal in the same event at three different Olympics.

Though Diamond fell just short in London, the veteran was determined to head to the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in four years time to resume the quest.

"I would like to try and win a third Olympic gold medal," Diamond said.

"Shooting is the kind of sport where you can just keep it up as long as your eyesight is OK and your reflexes are fine.

"As long as you still have that fire burning in your stomach and mentally you are tough you will be fine."

Diamond's fourth place in the closing event of the Olympic shooting competition was Australia's best result on the range.

Australia's shooters made just two finals, with Suzy Balogh finishing sixth in the women's trap.

A sudden-death playoff was also required to decide the men's trap gold medal, with Croatian Giovanni Cernogoraz emerging victorious ahead of Italy's Massimo Fabbrizi after they tied on 146.

Join us Wednesday on FANGO for live chat, polls, trivia and more as Sally Pearson hurdles for gold.

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Wednesday, August 8, 3.50am: Sally Pearson and the 100m hurdles.

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