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San Antonio's Grazioli tied in men's trap shooting

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    San Antonio's Grazioli tied in men's trap shooting

    By DAVID KING San Antonio Express-News

    BEIJING — Competing at his first Olympics didn’t faze Dominic Grazioli on Saturday. Lining up against some of the best trap shooters in the world wasn’t a problem.

    Even competing at what he has called one of the best shotgun venues anywhere wasn’t a problem. The Beijing weather, on the other hand, was a real drawback.

    “I feel like I’m wearing a wetsuit,” he said after the first three rounds of the competition at the Beijing Shooting Range.

    The scores — and not just the San Antonian’s — reflected the conditions, which saw heat well into the 80s and humidity to match when the shooting began at 9 a.m. And it just got hotter as patches of blue sky made their first appearance in three days and the sun burned through the haze temporarily.

    Grazioli wound up with a score of 69 out of a possible 75 targets, putting him in an eight-way tie in the competition, which wraps up Sunday with two more preliminary rounds and a final featuring the top six scorers from the 35-man field. The top three scorers after the final round will win the medals.

    The co-leaders after the first day were David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic and Giovanni Pellielo of Italy, both veterans of the sport, who hit 73 targets each. Pellielo won the silver medal in the event four years ago and the bronze in 2000. Kostelecky was sixth in Sydney and was last year’s silver medalist in the European championships.

    Defending gold medalist Aleksei Alipov of Russia is among five shooters at 72, a group that also includes Austalia’s Michael Diamond, the gold medalist from 2000.

    Grazioli said nerves weren’t a problem, not after competing at the elite level in the sport for more than 20 years. The problem was the draining heat and humidity, unmatched anywhere in Texas.

    “I’d like to have broken more (targets), but the heat out here, it gets to you after a while,” he said. “It’s hard to concentrate.”

    He said that when concentration lags, mistakes begin to happen.

    “At the level we’re at, anytime we miss we’ve made some kind of stupid mistake, and that’s the way it turned out to be — making stupid mistakes here and stupid mistakes there,” he said. “They add up.”

    He missed two times in the first round of 25 shots, once in the second and three in the third. Just three shooters — Kostelecky, Erminio Frasca of Italy and Alipov — had perfect scores in the third round. Frasca also is in the group tied at 72.
     
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