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Eller wins Olympic gold in double trap shooting

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 12, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Eller wins gold medal in double trap shooting

    BEIJING - Glenn Eller knew there was one person between him and a gold medal: Glenn Eller.

    All he had to do was beat himself, he said.

    He did so in record-breaking fashion.

    The 26-year-old Katy native had a performance to remember, connecting on 190 of 200 targets to win the gold medal for the United States in double trap shooting Tuesday at the Beijing Shooting Range.

    After two disappointing Olympic experiences (a 15th-place finish in 2000, when he suffered from food poisoning, and a 17th-place finish in 2004, when he lost focus due to a false-positive drug test), Eller said his goal this time was to get out of his own way.

    Do that and he would be a gold medal winner.

    “If I didn’t have any dumb mistakes, don’t let my head get in the way,” Eller said. “Just go out there focused, stay focused, and keep my head in it the whole way.

    “I had one little mishap, that missed pair, the rest of it was great.”

    After setting an Olympic record with 145 points in the three-round prelims, Eller started the finals shootout in the worst way, missing both targets on the initial pull. His four-point lead was cut in half.

    He settled down quickly, however, connecting on 25 shots in a row from the firing line to regain a five-target edge after nine pairs of targets had been released.

    Italy’s Francesco D’Aniello, the silver medalist, made a push, easing to within three points after Eller missed the second target of the 14th pair. But when D’Aniello missed two pairs later, the contest was all but over.

    All Eller had to do was avoid a complete collapse, and he did that to cruise to the victory.

    The 190 broke the Olympic record of 189 set by Australia’s Mark Russell in 1996, and tied by Ahmed Almaktoum in 2004. Both of them were in the competition, but no one could compete with Eller on this day.

    “Setting a new finals’ Olympic record, you pretty much have to get the gold, but winning the gold is the (important) thing,” Eller said. “If I had shot a 12 and it won me the gold, I would have taken the 12.”

    Pfc. Eller, joined the Army a year ago, and is part of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. He credit’s the Army with helping get him focused for the Olympics.

    In that unit, many of the country’s top shooters train together.

    “Working with them all day every day, keeps you in it,” Eller said.

    Eller also has worked with two sports psychologists, including one who made the trip to Athens with him.

    He said as a shooter, he is no better than he was in Sydney or Athens.

    “I think it’s mental. I could break the same scores back then, but now I am able to put it all together,” Eller said.

    Doing so Tuesday resulted in a long-desired gold medal.

    Binyuan Hu of China (184) won the silver, edging out American Jeffrey Holguin of Yorba Linda, Calif., who struggled with a 42 in the shootout to finish fourth.
     
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