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Since we’re about to kick off the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, Corsivia wanted to have a chat with our dear friend María Quintanal, world champion in double trap in Cyprus in 2003 and silver in Olympic trap at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

María, tell us a little about your experience in Athens. Good times, weren’t they?

As a top-tier athlete, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in two Olympic Games.

The first one was in Atlanta in 1996. I participated in the Olympic trap there and then in Athens 2004 I participated in the Olympic trap and double trap.

For me, every time the Olympic Games are celebrated, I feel a sense of envy. I remember how wonderful and spectacular these games are for any athlete. Starting with the sacrifice it takes, financially, personally and, of course, in terms of family. You have to set your normal routine aside for a long time to dedicate yourself to sport 200%, which is something a lot of people don’t realise but that’s the way it is.

I got really lucky In Athens, not just because I got to go, but because I also won a medal for my country and, of course, for myself. My training was really solid back then because I had just won a number of world competitions and that gave me tremendous confidence in myself. I had just won the double trap world championship and I was the favourite to win a medal. And I was lucky enough to win it in the Olympic trap, the discipline which I first competed in.

The moment I won the silver was something I’ll never forget. The weather conditions were poor, it was really windy. And, just like the other athletes, I went for it despite the weather and I proved myself.

María Quintanal Athens 2004

What do you think about the current Spanish Olympic team?

Right now, the two shooters who are going to represent us are top athletes and they are in very good shape. They’ve been training for a long time and I’m sure they’re going to do well.

Spanish shooters are widely envied right now because of our excellent international standing. And that gives us a lot of confidence when it comes to competitions. It’s true that the competitions are really tough, and you have to be in top shape, both physically and mentally, although today’s shooters are highly professional, it’s not like it was 15 years ago.

As for the Olympic shooting facilities, what do you think about them, and how much does the condition of the range influence the results?  And how do they condition the shells and targets?

Shooting ranges at the international level are usually ranges with more than 5 stations. They are usually fields that have green backgrounds, so the targets stand out a lot. First thing in the morning on the day of the competition, the jury measures all the trap angles and falls, which ensures that the targets are thrown at the correct speed.

The weather has a huge impact, because you can’t see the targets well if it’s a dark and cloudy day and you have to play with the filters of the glasses a lot. The same thing happens on a sunny day, everything changes, and you can really see the targets.

Of course, the brand of clay in the target also has an influence, since it may be a harder clay than what we’re used to shooting in our country and you really notice in the results, which can vary.

Another handicap we shooters have at international level is that we have to shoot with the ammunition available at the shooting range where the competition is being held. We can rarely find the ammunition we usually shoot with.

Tell us about your experience with Corsivia targets

The Corsivia target is a target that I’ve been familiar with since I started shooting. Although the shape and obviously the components of how it’s made have changed somewhat over the years, but I have to say that, today, it is a target you can find anywhere in the world. It is one of the top targets because it has everything that the planet is asking for in the 21st century, like environmental friendliness, for example. And, of course, it meets all the necessary requirements for a competition or for training.

What recommendations would you give to clay target shooting enthusiasts?

The recommendation I would give to any athlete or target shooter is that, in this sport, like in life, being humble is the main thing we need to remember. We have to stop blaming our failures and mistakes in competitions on the machines, the cartridge, the targets and the fly that landed on my barrel 😉😉.

As always, it was a pleasure to chat with María and we wish her many more wins in the future.

We look forward to enjoying these Olympic Games together.