Potent sets sights on fifth shot at glory

Mon May 9, 2016 3:21am EDT
 
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Having won his duels with Father Time, 54-year-old Warren Potent has little fear of competing with the young guns at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics where the silver-haired Australian will train his sights on gold in the 50 meter rifle prone.

Potent clinched Australia's first Olympic medal in a rifle shooting event with bronze at the 2008 Games and embellished his 'late bloomer' status with a first individual world title in 2014, a trifling 28 years after winning the team crown in 1986.

As he prepares for a fifth Olympic campaign, Potent now sits atop a world rankings dominated by men half his age.

"I'm pinching myself. I'm 54 now and I'm currently ranked number one in the world," the Sydney marksman told Reuters in an interview.

"I'm still doing really well in competition where a lot of people lean towards it being a younger person's sport now.

"I am excited. But at the same time not too excited because I know I have a job to do."

As both an elite shooter and a full-time worker for a global engine manufacturer, Potent generally has his hands full.

He enjoys sponsorship from a gun-maker, but has earned more respect than money from the sport and has only a few minutes to chat during his lunch-break before returning to his post in spare parts distribution.   Continued...

 
Warren Potent of Australia pauses during the men's 50m rifle prone final shooting competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 15, 2008.     REUTERS/Desmond Boylan