Army's Eller wins Olympic gold medal in double trap


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searcher451
August 13, 2008, 09:49 AM
From this morning's USA TODAY, some nice coverage of Glenn Eller's gold medal performance in double trap on Tuesday:

USA's Eller shoots down gold medal

By Seth Livingstone, USA TODAY

BEIJING Olympic champion Glenn Eller says enlisting in the U.S. Army is the best thing that could have happened to his gold medal aspirations.
Eller, who is from Katy, Texas, set an Olympic record, hitting 190 of 200 clay targets on his way to winning the men's double trap competition Tuesday.

"People talked to me about (joining the Army) for a long time," he said. "I was like, 'Nah, nah, nah. I'm doing good. I'm fine on my own.' "

But Eller, 26, discovered he was even better when working alongside world class marksmen, such as teammate Jeffrey Holguin, who finished fourth behind silver medalist Francesco D'Aniello of Italy and China's Hu Binyuan.

"I was training over there (at Fort Benning, Ga.) when I was going to Auburn University, and being out there with those guys was great," Eller said. "When I moved back to Houston, my performances starting suffering because I was training by myself. Getting four of the top shooters in the world together and training on a daily basis with many other Olympians like Vincent Hancock and Todd Graves, an Olympic medalist, it rubs off."

Private first class Eller (full name Walton Glenn Eller III) says he's stayed in touch with some of those with whom he went through basic training, including soldiers now in Iraq.

"One of my good friends, Master Sgt. Dave Estabrooks, gave me good inspiration coming into this," said Eller. "He told me 'Amateurs train 'til they get it right. Professionals train 'til they never get it wrong. Go kick their butts.'

"Being a soldier in the U.S. Army, I'm expected to do what's asked of me. They asked me to come to the Olympics and win a gold medal. I don't know how to better represent the United States than sitting here with a gold medal in my hand."

Eller had been to the Olympics twice before, finishing 15th in Sydney, where he suspects a bad ham sandwich left him with food poisoning, and 17th in Athens after a pinched nerve and a false-positive drug test.

"Nothing went wrong this time," he said. "I stuck with mostly McDonald's and had some pizza last night."

Eller took a four-shot lead into the final round of 25 double targets, but missed his first two shots.

"When you shoot the Olympic record (in qualifying) and you've got a little bit of a lead, you expect to come out with gold," he said.

"After missing that first pair, it was a little dicey there. I knew exactly what I did wrong, so I just calmed myself down."

He rebounded by nailing his next 17 targets, restoring his four-shot cushion, even as Hu (seven back going into the final round) hit his first 21 shots.

Eller outshot a talented field. On his way to the final he beat the qualification record of 2004 gold medalist Ahmed Almaktoum of the United Arab Emirates, who finished seventh. Austrian Russell Mark, gold medalist in 1996 and silver medalist in 2000, was fifth, and Britain's Richard Faulds, gold medalist in Sydney, was sixth.

Holguin, of Yorba Linda, Calif., entered the final round in third place, five off the pace, but settled for fourth.

Find this article at:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/beijing/skill/2008-08-12-eller-training_N.htm

If you poke around in the newspaper's website (www.usatoday.com), you can find addtional coverage of shooting events.

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dogmush
August 13, 2008, 10:06 AM
Go Army!

One hopes that'll get him his E-4.

oneshooter
August 13, 2008, 03:55 PM
Local fellow from the Katy/ Houston area. Done gone and made us all proud!!:D

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

balletto
August 13, 2008, 08:42 PM
...of the double trap finals, and lots of other shooting events, available here:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/shooting/video/index.html

Bill2e
August 13, 2008, 08:48 PM
That is great, good for him. Congrats

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