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Mark says Diamond is shooting favourite
Jordan Chong
21:34 AEST Sun Jul 22 2012

Veteran shooter Russell Mark says teammate Michael Diamond is the most successful shooter the sport has ever seen.

Diamond will represent Australia at a sixth Olympics when he lines up in the men's trap at the Royal Artillery Barracks on day nine of competition.

Mark says Diamond, the men's trap gold medallist from the 1996 Atlanta Games, is widely regarded among his fellow Olympic shooters as the overwhelming favourite for the gold in London despite some "ridiculous" odds of 26 to one at the bookmakers.

"I don't know who framed the market, it must have been one of the Wiggles," Mark said after a training session at Royal Artillery Barracks on Sunday morning.

"I'm not saying he is a certainty to win it - there's no certainty in clay target shooting - but he'd be favourite."

Mark, who is also representing Australia at a sixth summer Olympics, has come to London well ahead of his double trap event in order to recover from jetlag and get some training done at the range.

By contrast, Diamond will check into the athletes village shortly before the trap competition gets underway.

"Michael seems to have that ability to just rock up the day before and just shoot," Mark said.

"That's why he is special.

"There's no other Michael Diamond here."

Practice was conducted under sunny skies at the Royal Artillery Barracks on Sunday, and Australia's women's trap representative Suzy Balogh said scores would be high if these conditions persisted during the Olympics.

"When the conditions are fabulous it's a great range," Balogh said.

"It's likely to have world records shot on it in perfect weather."

Mark also welcomed what he described as a rare sighting of the sun since he has been in London.

"We've prepared for the worst to be honest, this is a bonus," Mark said.

The shooting starts on day one, with the women's 10m air rifle and men's 10m air pistol.

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