Former Launceston shooter Bailey Groves had four-time Olympian Dan Repacholi sweating before experience won out at the final nomination event for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Now based in Western Australia, 22-year-old Groves led the way after 10 shots in the men's 10m air pistol while his 37-year-old counterpart and Olympics frontrunner looked in danger of being the first athlete eliminated.
But the Hunter Valley's gentle giant recovered and eventually slid back into the lead at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.
After knocking out Thomas Ashmore, Groves and then Sergei Evgleski, the three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist blitzed Scott Anderson with his final two shots to seal a fifth Olympics Games ticket.
Speaking after the final, Repacholi revealed his early struggles had come as a result of concentrating on Groves' performance more than his own.
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"I knew what Bailey had to do and I knew what I had to do," Repacholi said.
"I knew that if I didn't finish last, then everything will be ok.
"If Bailey won and I finished last, then we would have been tied on the nomination scoreboard.
"I started horrendously. My first 10 shots were terrible.
"I then stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing and just focused on one shot at a time."
Repacholi said he would use his remaining preparation before the Games begin on July 24 to concentrate on his mental game.
"Physically, I know I can shoot tens every time, but I need to work on my mental capability," the father-of-two said.
A full-time engineer with Subsea 7 in Wellard, Groves won the country's sole Olympic quota in the 10m air pistol in November by taking out the Oceania championships.
Also held in Sydney, the Oceanias were decided by the smallest of margins as Groves finished on 234.4, fractionally ahead of Anderson (233.3) and Repacholi.
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