Michael Diamond had the distinction of defending his Olympic gold from Atlanta, at a range named after him at his home in Sydney in 2000. He had shot perfect rounds of 25 in the finals both the times in clinching the gold.
He was a legend then, and his legacy lingers on, as strong as ever. Easily one of the finest trap shooters the world has seen, Diamond, the five-time world champion, with his inimitable style of minimum but intense training may win his third Olympic gold in London to match compatriot swimming legend Dawn Fraser’s mastery of winning the same event thrice in the Games.
He had missed the bronze in the shoot-off to the Athens gold medallist Alexey Alipov of Russia in Beijing, after having finished eighth in 2004 when he had to endure personal problems in the run-up to the Games.
Diamond beat the cream of the world in the last World Cup finals at Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, to warn the rest that he would be as potent in his sixth Olympics, as he was when he broke into the global arena as the world junior champion in 1989.
Ranked sixth in the world, a step ahead of David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic who shot a perfect 25 for the gold in persistent rain in Beijing, Diamond would attempt to stay ahead of such champions as Alipov and the silver medallist of the last two Games, Giovanni Pellielo of Italy.
A brilliant double trap shooter, Diamond’s world record of 147 out of 150 had stayed in the books for 13 years till Vitaly Fokeev of Russia broke it last year in the World Cup in Chile.
For a man with 22 World Cup medals, including eight gold, a score of 116 that placed him 18th and 20th in the World Cups this season, may not be much to crow about, but rest assured that the 40-year-old Aussie will strike his best form when he breathes the Olympic air.
After all, Diamond is forever!