Cobbitty's Tom Grice is preparing for his Olympic debut.

On his way: Cobbitty's Tom Grice will be heading to the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Picture: Shooting Australia
On his way: Cobbitty's Tom Grice will be heading to the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Picture: Shooting Australia

The Tokyo Olympics will be kicking off in late July, and while most of us will be tuning in from home, one local will have a front row seat to the action.

Cobbitty's Tom Grice will compete in two events as part of Australia's shooting team. The 28-year-old is excited to make his Olympic debut, and has prepared by training in the hotter climate of Darwin.

"It's something I organised with my coach. We're chasing a bit of that heat so it will be similar to what we'll face in Tokyo," he said.

Grice is competing in Men's Trap shooting and Trap Mixed Pair, with his shooting partner Penny Smith. He is training as much as possible while still working full-time ahead of the games. Grice trains out of the Sydney Olympic venue Sydney International Shooting Centre at Cecil Park.

"I'm training every weekend and if I can knock off early enough I fit in some training on a week day too," he said. "I was fortunate enough to head up to Brisbane for a couple of weeks not long ago, and got in a good block of training then."

Grice said shooting wasn't a sport where you could really research your competition to gain an advantage, as it was all dependent on personal performance on the day.

"I have to be very focussed on myself," he said. "I can't control what the other people are going to do. You just have to control the controllable stuff and put the best performance in on the day."

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Grice, who was introduced to the sport of shooting by his grandfather, said the delay in the Games was actually a blessing in disguise.

He had been using, and qualified for the Olympics with, his 14-year-old Beretta 682 shotgun, gifted to him by his grandfather.

But pushing the Olympics back from 2020 to 2021 means Grice can now use his recently acquired weapon - a Beretta DT11 Black.

"I won this one back in 2019 in Italy at the Beretta Cup championship in Lonato," he said. "It's a bit of a step up from what I was shooting before. The delay that we've had for the games has actually been a bit of a blessing, it's given me time to adjust. It took 12 months for the gun to get here."

Grice said his events were early in the Olympic schedule, falling in the first week.

He is expected to fly over to Japan around July 20.

"We won't be there for all that long, given the way it's running," Grice said. "I haven't got the opportunity to be there for two whole weeks.

"We'll train a few days out for the events, then fly home after it's done."

Grice said that the event was still far enough out that he wasn't feeling overwhelmed.

"I'll see how I'm feeling and how I'm reacting as I get closer," he said. "I've got to remind myself that I've put the work in. It's just about going in and leaving it all out there."

The proud Macarthur local said he appreciated the support he'd already received from the community and looked forward to representing his home on the world stage.

"I want to say a huge thank you for the support received so far," he said. "I've been in Camden my whole life and I'd like to think I'm representing Camden and Macarthur, and I can do them proud."

This story Cobbitty shooter has Tokyo in his sights first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.