Daniel Repacholi at the Hunter Olympic dinner launch on Wednesday. Picture: Ryan OslandNULKABA shooter Daniel Repacholi has his sights set on the ultimate Olympic farewell, a gold medal at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
A veteran of Athens, Beijing and London, the 33-year-old is preparing for his fourth and final appearance at the world’s biggest sporting event.
And this time he will not be content merely to be involved.
“Making the team is not my aim,” Repacholi told the Newcastle Herald.
“I want to go there and win.
“That’s my thought process. A lot of people are happy just to make the team and go to the Olympics, but then they have nothing after that. But, for me, the goal is to come back with a gold medal.”
Repacholi, who moved to the Hunter Valley from Victoria in 2009 after meeting his future wife and finding work as a mining operator with Rio Tinto, competes in the 10-metre and 50-metre air pistol.
His best performance at three Olympics was at London three years ago, when he finished 28th in the 10m and 19th in the 50m.
Two years later, after pondering retirement, he collected a 10m gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bronze in the 50m.
With the experience he has gained from three Olympics and two Commonwealth Games, Repacholi believes he is at the peak of his powers.
“It’s important not to get too overwhelmed by the whole situation,” he said. “The first Olympics I went to, it was a massive thing and you’re really not ready for it. It’s the biggest sporting event in the world, and you know that, but you can’t understand how big it is until you get there.
“But I’ve been continually getting better at each one, so hopefully this time I’ll be ready to win it.”
Repacholi said he felt capable of competing at “six or seven” Olympics but family commitments had become his priority.
“This will be my last,” he said.
“I’ll go to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, but I’ll retire after that.
“I want to spend more time with my family. I’ve got two young girls, one is two-and-a-half and the other is three months, so they’ll be at a good age where we can go on holidays together and things like that.
“So they’ll be my focus in future.”
The expense factor was also a consideration.
Repacholi said he tried not to think about how much shooting had cost him over the years, in equipment and days off work, but he had no doubt it would run well into six figures.
“I’m very lucky that I’ve got some generous sponsors behind me,” he said. “I really appreciate their support.”
His qualification hopes for Rio hinge on next month’s Oceania titles and ‘s selection series in February and March.
“At the moment, I’m shooting well,” he said.
“As long as I can keep going with the training I’m doing, I should be fine.”