By Danika Dent

LEONGATHA South shooter Daniel Croatto defeated Australia’s athlete attending the Rio Olympics.
In a two-day competition recently at the Melbourne International Shooting Club at Fishermans Bend, Croatto came second in the Australian National Championships – he was the first Australian, only beaten by a few points by New Zealand shooter Martin Hunt.
In the Jim Smith English Match (50 metre Open Prone) Croatto came eighth with a score of 614.6.
He made selection for the Slazenger Team and the Lord Wakefield team and proceeded to finals.
The Jim Smith medal started with a 60-shoot day, followed on the next day by elimination round finals.
Croatto had a number of near perfect scores – the highest possible score is 10.9.
The win in the international event was Croatto’s best result in 30 years of shooting.
The finals go down to three shots in 100 seconds; Round 2 three shots in 100 seconds; Round 3 one shot in 30 seconds; Round 4 one shot in 30 seconds, with the eighth competitor eliminated, then two more shots until each shooter is eliminated down to the final two.
“It comes down to the the highest scores,” Croatto explained.
“The lead changed quite a few times, which wasn’t surprising – the best of Australia’s shooters.”
During his rounds he shot: Round1: 10.5, 9.1, 10.3; Round 2: 10.8, 10.9, 10.3; Round 3: 9.9, 10.7; Round 4: 9.3, 10.5; Round 5: 9.7, 10.3; Round 6: 10.3, 10; Round 7: 10, 10.4; Round 8: 10.3, 9.7; Round 9: 9.9, 9.8.
“I beat the guy that’s going to the Olympics,” Croatto said, still disbelieving the scores.
“But it was his third competition in three days, he was stuffed!
“I’d performed well in the start, not so good at the end – I just lucked out.
“I was so nervous I was shaking, I guess I just shook in the right direction!”
Chris Lott, the Olympian came third.
From the full competition, Croatto took home six medals: 1st B Grade, 2nd ISSF 50m prone, 6th Jim Smith overall, High Average Day 1 International team Lord Wakefield Slazenger team, 6th 2nd event, 3rd Place 20m Dual Range competition.