Skeet shooter Paul Adams aims to keep everything ‘normal’ next month as he prepares to step onto the world’s greatest sporting stage.
Adams, who lives in North Lakes and works at Kippa-Ring, is in the Australian team heading to the Tokyo Olympic Games (July 23-August 8).
He enters a two-week pre-Games semi-lockdown on July 4, flies to Japan from Sydney on July 19 and goes for gold on July 26-27.
“I’ll try to keep doing things I would on a normal day,” said the 29-year-old theatre nurse at Peninsula Private Hospital.
“I’ll be talking to my partner, my mother and my family … normal everyday things.
“Everyone gets nervous (at the Olympics) and there will be more pressure there, but I set small goals for my personal way of shooting.
“Those small things all add up in the bigger picture.”
And there is none bigger than the Olympics where skeet shooters fire at clay targets mechanically launched from fixed positions.
They face 75 targets on day one and 50 on day two. The top six competitors go forward into the semi-final from which the medallists emerge.
Throughout Adams will heed his grandfather Ian’s advice, which is tattooed on his chest, to take it “one at a time”.
Adams is in fine form, having won his most recent tournament, the Queensland State titles, with a score of 120 out of 125 targets.
However, next month at the Tokyo Olympics he may have to at least match and possibly beat that to get in the mix for medals.
“I felt I shot well at the last competition,” he said, “I got the gold and had a good score, but there are still some small things to work on.”
Adams and his Olympic colleagues will have COVID tests in the pre-Games camp, before the team leaves, on arrival in Japan and during the Games.
It will be his second Olympics, having qualified for the 2016 Rio Games where he shot 119/125 in qualifying to miss the semi-final by three shots.
However, Adams reached the semi-final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and at the 2015 World Championships, just five years after switching to skeet, finished 27th.
In 2017 he won the Oceania Championship and a bronze medal at the Acapulco and New Delhi World Cup events.
One year later Adams was seventh in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and won silver at the Guadalajara World Cup.
Two World Cup bronze medals and a silver are among the highlights of a career which started at the age of 10 when coached by his grandfather Ian on the .22 single-shot rifle he had also learned on.
There's more news here