Qatari sportsman Nasser Al Attiyah has swapped the steering wheel for the shotgun as the twice Dakar Rally winner targets a sixth Olympic appearance at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.
The 45-year-old, who won bronze in the men’s skeet at the London Olympics, is competing at the ongoing Asian shooting Championship on the outskirts of New Delhi, hoping to maintain his record of competing at each Games since 1996.
“I have been five times in Olympic Games – Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London,” the Qatari told Reuters TV.
“(I won) bronze medal in London. And now really it will be a dream for me to (also) compete in Rio, like six times in Olympic Games.”
Rallying and marksmanship are not easy to combine but Al Attiyah said he enjoyed both.
“I love both sport. And this was my dream for a long time, to be champion in rally and champion in shooting,” he said.
He took to shooting hoping it would help him focus better behind the wheel when competing in the gruelling rallies, before Al Attiyah fell to the charm of shooting clay targets flung into the air.
His busy rallying schedule does impact his shooting but Al Attiyah claimed bronze – only the fourth medal Qatar have ever won at the Olympics – in London after only 10 days of real practice.
“It is not easy. When I started rally, I was looking for another sport to help me from (the) concentration side and I find myself one day practising shooting and I said, ‘okay this is a right sport to help me for driving, for rally’.
“But I find also myself good in shooting and I said ‘why not to be one of the Olympic medal (winner) in shooting’.”
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