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Federico Gil, the shooter who shot 60,000 times in a year, is number two in the world and has no Argentine sponsors

2021-07-24T13:17:01.924Z

He fell in love with the sport since he started shooting at the age of 8, following the family tradition. It receives the Olympic scholarships, but no national company supports it. 'I keep going because I'm crazy,' he says before debuting at Tokyo 2020.



Hernan Sartori

07/24/2021 6:00 AM

  • Clarín.com

  • sports

Updated 07/24/2021 6:00 AM

Federico Gil learned to walk in the Argentine Federal Shot. Every weekend he accompanied Papa Horacio, National Shooter, along with Mama Monica and Melisa, his older sister. It is known: so much goes from the pitcher to the source that it eventually breaks. "Dad, let us pull," he said one day. And it did not stop more.

That 8-year-old boy who raised a shotgun for the first time with the help of his father, will compete this Saturday in his second Olympic Games

, starting at 22 in Argentina. He is 33. Barely a quarter of a century has passed.

“My dad was holding the shotgun for me and the saucers were fixed, obviously.

So I started.

And since at 12 I was chubby, it helped me to withstand the recoil of the weapon.

Anyway, my sister was a noodle and she threw like crazy, heh, ”recalls this former criminal lawyer who became a specialist in economic and corporate law.

Luckily fewer jail visits.

Since he made his international debut in the Junior South American in Lima, at the age of 12, he

did not stop wearing the blue and white

in the skeet discipline.

Shooting is

a family matter

for Federico.

Pedro, his paternal grandfather, had an armory in Avellaneda and his maternal grandfather made traditional dishes.

They have sung bingo.

As a teenager he began working in the armory and was in charge while studying law.

Until the place became the family law firm, where he works with his mother Mónica Pérez and Melisa, also an Olympian in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Federico Gil, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village Photo @ federicogil125

Thirty shooters qualified for the Japanese event in skeet and were divided into five sextets.

This Saturday there will be three rounds of 25 shots each.

On Sunday, from 10pm, two more rounds.

The best six will qualify for the final at 3.50 on Argentine Monday.

And sixty dishes will define the medals.

The numbers don't lie: if he makes it to the final, Federico will fire 185 shots in two days.

-How many training shots did you take in the last year to be an Olympian?

-60,000.

Seeing him in action on the shooting range creates disbelief.

He calls for the plate with an indecipherable sound and the computer can take up to three seconds to throw one or two plates, depending on the season it is in.

Because in a round he shoots from different positions in a semicircle.

“The plate can come out right away or after three seconds.

And in those three seconds your heart pops out of your chest and it seems like three minutes to you.

And if you err on top of that, the world falls apart and you feel like the worst on the planet ”, he explains.

He calculates that the first shot is fired no more than 75 hundredths after leaving the target, which flies at 90 kilometers per hour in a 40-meter stretch.

And in some stalls there are two plates, one on each side.

This is why the training is so fierce.

And the shotgun becomes an extension of your body.

Federico Gil and his father and coach Horacio, with the silver medal of the Cyprus World Cup, in March 2020. Photo Instagram @ federicogil125

Shotguns are made like a tailored suit.

They are designed for your body.

That is why I used the same one for 8 years.

I go to the Krieghoff factory in Ulm, Germany, 150 kilometers from Munich, and I live there for ten days until the block of wood is transformed into the weapon.

We tested pipes and balancing.

I don't change mine or crazy ”, he says.

Federico remains in the top ten of the world rankings since 2015.

Today he shares the second place with the Swede

Stefan Nilsson

, far from the Dane

Jesper Hansen

, the number one.

They all know each other too much.

“Shooting is a sport that requires many years of training and competition to reach the elite.

It starts very young, like all Olympic sports, and requires a certain maturation, because you see that between 30 and 37 or 38 years old they achieve their best score.

That's why I've known them for 20 years ”, he says.

“It is a sport that requires the same characteristics as golf:

a high level of physical and mental coordination

.

And temperance and maturity come with the years ”, he argues.

His career and his present allowed him to have as sponsors the best brands specialized in shotguns, ammunition, cymbals and equipment.

But in Argentina, beyond the well-earned scholarships from the ENARD and the Sports Secretariat, zero to ace.

As if he screwed up all the dishes.

Federico Gil, with his shotgun.Photo Guillermo Rodriguez Adami

I don't have any Argentine company as a sponsor.

I wrote to those with drinks and clothes and they didn't even answer your

email

.

I took it on when I qualified for Rio 2016 and I no longer write to anyone.

If I want clothes, I have to save and buy them.

I would love to have more sponsors, but my mother follows me on social networks, ”he says with a laugh.

Talk about this phenomenon that brands do not value processes, projection or results but rather the number of followers on Instagram.

Post-truth.

“I take scholarship support very seriously.

It is a huge weight to represent the country, because I do it with the money of all those who pay taxes: from the one who pays for water to the supercompany that pays Profits

”, he synthesizes.

And he compares his situation with the First World: “Number one has the number of shotguns he wants.

In Italy, for example, the shooters are policemen, forest guards or carabinieri.

Not because of a career, but they are used by a security force to get a salary ”.

-Why do you continue then?

-I'm totally crazy in the head.

I am passionate about shooting.

And in the closing he synthesizes the fire that attracts him to this sport with an anecdote that marked him.

“One day

Vincent Hancock

, Olympic gold medalist in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, confirmed to me that he feels what happens to me.

'In the first course the floor is shaking.

But if I didn't have that adrenaline, I wouldn't do it anymore, '

he told me.

And I live the same.

Fear brings adrenaline and, with that, better conditions.

If that fear wasn't there, it wouldn't make sense.

The closer to the precipice, the better we shoot

”.


Inseparable brothers

Melisa, Horacio and Federico Gil, in Rio 2016. Photo Instagram @ federicogil125

The brothers be united, that is the first law, says Martín Fierro.

Melisa Gil competed in the same junior South American in which Federico debuted.

And this Saturday he will be close to him again in his second Olympic Games, after having shared the experience in Rio de Janeiro 2016.

The first-born of Mónica and Horacio will also compete in skeet, but from 21 in Argentina.

The lawyer was a silver medalist in the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo 2003 and Toronto 2015, as well as a bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro 2007 and Guadalajara 2011.


HS

Look also

Paula Pareto, legend: how she came to carry the Olympic flag at the opening party of the Tokyo 2020 Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: all the details of an unforgettable opening ceremony with an emotional Argentine touch

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-07-24

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