And 23 years later ...
"I started shooting trap in 1985, because, in San Marino, it was the only discipline to practice," San Marino's Daniela Del Din said. Her first competition representing San Marino was in 1989 when she finished fourth at the World Championship in Montecatini, Italy. After that, however, her shooting career didn't exactly take off. By 1991, she was married and gave up the sport to focus on her personal life and career as an accountant. Then, as simple as she left the sport, "Six years later, my passion for the shooting prevailed," Del Din said.
Retired to medal contender
The sixth-place finish at Lonato may have given Daniela a ticket to Beijing, but it was her next three events that made her a medal contender -- and No. 3 in the world. She scored a 68 at the World Cup event in Maribor, Slovenia (June '07), which was only good enough for 13th place, but it was the first time since returning to the sport that she had scored 68 or higher in two-straight events. The World Championships in Nicosia, Cyprus (September), and the World Cup (October) contest in Belgrade gave Del Din her first medals with a bronze at the former and a silver at the latter. Her total scores of 85 and 91, respectively, would have been good enough for medals at both Sydney at Athens.
Representing San Marino at the Olympics for the first time isn't lost on Del Din. She refers to her nation as, "the great ideal all over the world," because San Marino was founded in 301 a.c. and is the oldest-standing republic. For her, to qualify for the Olympics is the reward of a 20-plus-year journey. "It's like to touch the heaven with my finger," Del Din said. "The Olympic games for me are always a dream."
Second time has to be better, right?
Del Din has been to China once in her career. Certainly, she would rather forget the result. At a World Cup event in Qingyuan City, she finished 36th with a score of 61 -- in 2006, she never finished higher than 21st. Though she will be there for competition, Del Din has said she hopes she can find time to visit Beijing.
Dog, dog, goose
Del Din's schedule doesn't afford her too much free time, but she enjoys sports in general - including tennis and skiing (the Italian women's ski team being her favorite to watch) -- and loves to relax in the tropics when on vacation. At home, she enjoys reading books and watching movies based around investigations. When she's not reading, she likes being with her English setter named Duck.
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