Qatar’s Ace Shooter Al Attiyah Eyes Elusive Olympic Medal

Doha, July 18 (QNA) - Qatar's ace rally driver and shooter Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah who will be making his fifth Olympic appearance at the London Games, is confident that he can win that elusive medal this time round in his pet event, skeet shooting.
 "I'm going to London with a lot of confidence. I have been part of the Games four times before and twice I came close to winning a medal. This time I feel I can do it," the 41-yr-old told English language daily Gulf Times.
 Al Attiyah has every reason to be upbeat as he had booked his berth for the London Games in astonishing fashion   stunning some of the ace shooters around at the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha earlier this year.
 Call it luck or destiny, the former Dakar Rally Champion quit this year's annual race across South America after his temperamental Hummer broke down in the ninth stage. Once it was confirmed that he would not be able to retain his title, Al Attiyah quickly rushed to take part in the last shooting event to win a berth for the London Games.
 What the world saw over the next two days was simply unbelievable. Some of Asia's renowned shooters were in Qatar, and here was a weary Al Attiyah straight from the grueling rally, woefully short of practice.
 The desert wind blew away the best in business but Al Attiyah held his ground and every shot that came from his barrel hit the target with pin-point accuracy. After finishing without missing a shot (75-75) in the qualifying round, he shot down all the 150-clay pigeon targets in the final to match the world record and booked his ticket to the London Games.
 "Yes, you can say the victory at the Asian Championship has given me that immense self-confidence. The way I performed after coming straight from the Dakar Rally made me realise that I have it in me to come up with wins when they matter. The immense experience of taking part in previous Games will also be of help," said Al Attiyah, who joined the elite group of Vincent Hancock of USA (2007), Tore Brovold of Norway (twice   2008, 2009) and Jan Sychra of Czech Republic (2011) who managed a perfect score of 150.
 Al-Attiyah, who won the skeet team gold and a bronze at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, was on a 40-day training schedule in Europe before returning to Doha for a few days to be with his family.
 "The training went well and I'm shooting well. We trained in Italy, France and Czech Republic. I managed a sliver at the French Open Shooting Championship as well. As of now, things have gone as per plan. It is always important to be with the family before heading for a major event like this. It makes you feel relaxed and now I can get back to work in London with a free mind," he said. (QNA)

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