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TORONTO (Reuters) - Peru's Francisco Boza Dibos gave up shooting three years ago but his decision to return paid off on Tuesday as he won the gold medal in men's trap at the Pan American Games to qualify for his eighth Summer Olympics.
Boza Dibos, who won the silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, hit 11 of his 15 targets in the gold medal match while Argentina's Fernando Borello missed his last three targets and settled for 10 of 15.
"I never imagined that I would be so lucky to win the gold,"
Boza Dibos, who was Peru's flag bearer in the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic, told reporters. "I left the sport three years ago and worked for the government. I started training in October 2014."
While Borello had to settle for the silver medal, he also qualified for the Rio Games as a top two finisher in the event, one of a handful of disciplines at the July 10-26 Pan Am Games offering athletes a chance to secure an Olympic berth.
But for 50-year-old Boza Dibos, who finished first in trap at the 1993 Shooting Championship of the Americas, winning the gold medal more than exceed his expectations.
"This is a surprise for me to win. I never expected to do it," said Boza Dibos.
"I feel that this is good for the youth of Peru to get ready to represent our country in four years."
Editing by Greg Stutchbury