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Fontain has his sights set on success at Paralympics
SHOOTER Adam Fontain loves spending his down time with his mates back home in Basildon.
But they will be seeing precious little of the 22-year-old over the next few weeks as he turns all his attentions to winning a medal at the Paralympic Games this summer.
Fontain is currently ranked fifth in the world at the 10m air rifle disciplines he will be contesting in London.
And he admits that his quest for glory means he is having to put all his energy into preparing for the Games.
“If you cannot have two separate lives and balance them then you have no business being an athlete because you make the balance,” said Fontain.
“I go out during the day and meet up with my mates at night. When I’m with my friends we don’t talk about competing or the Paralympics because it is my down time and they all understand that.
“The time sacrifice I have made has paid off and I rarely get to see my mates because I’m always away.
“But they have said ‘focus on the Games’ and I cannot ask for better mates because they are so understanding.”
And concentrating on the Games is occupying all his time as he juggles training at Stoke Mandeville with competing on the international circuit.
“I’m concentrating 110 per cent and mentally I’m knackered,” he admitted.
“It’s not too bad physically, that it more of a problem in competition because you are in one position for 75 minutes.
“But we are lucky because the support we have is fantastic.
“We have a sports psychologist, a physio, strength and conditioning, and a performance lifestyle coach working with us. Their help means we can concentrate on our sport.”
Fontain suffered two strokes when he was seven which left him with no use of his left arm.
But he joined Basildon Disabled Sports Club and took up shooting in 2002.
A year later he started training at Stoke Mandeville and became a member of the British team in 2007.
With five years of international experience behind him, Fontain admits jetting around the world competing has become like a job.
“Back in 2007 it was a lot of fun because I was younger, but as I have matured as an athlete it does not bother me so much,” he explained.
“Now we are competing around the world and you get to have a few days off.
“When we were in Sydney we were able to go to the harbour one day, but it really is like working for a business because I get paid for it now.”
Fontain spends a lot of time at Stoke Mandeville training with the GB team, and although it will be his first time competing at Paralympic level, some of his team-mates are old hands at the Games.
He said they talk about what happened at previous games but do not offer any advice to their team-mates.
“We have been around each other so long that we are like a family,” added Fontain, who thanked his mum Christine and every at Basildon Disabled Sports Club for all their help and support.
“You do get your psyching out where someone says ‘I shot this today, what did you shoot?’, and there is a lot of competitive energy because we are athletes down to the core and competing is all that matters.”
And that sporting determination will stand Fontain in good stead when the Paralympic shooting events begin on August 30.
“Now I know I’m going I want to do well,” he said. “You cannot get a bigger stage than your home Paralympics.
“It’s sunk in now that I’m going to be there but I still cannot believe it and get goosebumps.”
Goosebumps will be the last thing on Fontain’s mind when he competes at Woolwich in the Games.
The Essex shooter has set a personal target of reaching the finals in the two disciplines he competes in — with a medal of any colour being a bonus.
He is fifth in the International Paralympic Committee rankings in the R4 (standing) and R5 (prone) 10m air rifle ranks.
He uses a stand equipped with a spring that acts as a wrist and admits preferring the standing to the prone event because it is more comfortable physically.
But he is currently averaging 599-600 out of 600 points in the prone and 596-597 in his favoured standing discipline.
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