Cobbitty shooter Tom Grice ready for Olympic berth

On his way: Tom Grice will compete in the 2021 Olympics. Picture: Shooting Australia
On his way: Tom Grice will compete in the 2021 Olympics. Picture: Shooting Australia

Cobbitty trap shooter Thomas Grice will be headed to his first Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and there is every possibility his trusty 14-year old Beretta 682 shotgun will be his firearm of choice when he takes on the world's best.

Apart from being the gun which saw him earn Tokyo Olympic selection alongside James Willett, there is a high degree of emotional sentiment attached to his gun.

Grice's grandfather, Frank Gould, was the man responsible for introducing him to shooting when he was first eligible to receive a shooting permit at age 12. He bought Grice is own gun when he was 14.

"He's (Gould) been my best supporter by far. I wouldn't be where I am today without him," Grice said.

"Fifty per cent of the people out there will tell you that you have to have the latest and greatest [guns], and the fifty per cent of other people will tell you its how it fits you and having some talent and just putting it into the right place every time. It's hard to argue against that. If you put the gun in the right place, it doesn't matter what gun you are shooting."

Grice was forced to endure a nail-biting Olympic nomination series before finally getting the welcome phone call from National Shotgun Coach, Richard Sammon, that he would be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection in Tokyo.

"I was driving and had the phone on Bluetooth when he called. I nearly fell out the car door. I was smacking the side of the door that hard I was that happy. I nearly broke the window," he said with a laugh.

While Grice hasn't fired a shot since the final Olympic nomination event in March, he has reviewed his training regime and has added more fitness work into his Tokyo Games preparation program, particularly with the purchase of a rowing machine and extra gym work.

"While there's some excellent shooters that are very obviously not all that physically fit, I think it's a great help to be far fitter, so I am working on my fitness a lot more than I ever have in the past.

Hopefully, that's going to put me in good stead going into the future."

Apart from his individual event in Tokyo, Grice will compete in the Mixed Pairs where he's likely to be partnered with Victorian, Penny Smith.

The pair won the inaugural Mixed Pairs world title in 2017 and were bronze medallists behind team-mates Willett and Laetisha Scanlan at last year's World Championship.

This story Cobbitty shooter Tom Grice ready for Olympic berth first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.