Roger Daniel opens his third bid for Olympic honours in the men's 10 metres air pistol event, at seven a.m. today (T&T time), at the Royal Artillery Barracks, here in London, England.
"I'm very pleased with my preparations," the Trinidad and Tobago shooter told the Express, yesterday.
Daniel is the first athlete on show for T&T at the London Games. He is an Olympic veteran, however, and seemed relaxed as he waited outside the Olympic Village for interviews with this reporter and TV6's Vinod Narwani.
"I'm trying not to put any expectations on myself. I'm doing what I have to do—concentrate on one thing at a time and just do it. You just prepare yourself mentally as best as you could, try to keep yourself good, and do what you have to do."
Daniel made his Olympic debut in 2004 in Athens, Greece, and was again on the T&T team at the 2008 Games, in Beijing, China.
"You can't really compare the three Olympic experiences. It's a new time, a new day, a different place. I'm trying not to get too hyped."
Today's 10m air pistol field includes South Korea's Jin Jong-oh, the world record holder with a score of 594, and China's reigning Olympic champion Pang Wei. Jong-oh picked up silver in Beijing, while bronze went to American Jason Turner. Turner will also be in action today.
In Athens, Daniel finished 27th in the 10m air pistol with a score of 574, and 33rd in the 50m pistol (545). Four years later, in Beijing, he earned 571 points to cop 36th spot.
To get to today's 10.30 a.m. (T&T time) final, the 2011 Pan American Games 10m air pistol silver medallist would need to approach his personal best score of 586.
The 30-member T&T squad here in London includes 25 track and field athletes.
Manager of the track and field team, Dexter Voisin, told the Express he expects T&T to improve on the Beijing haul of two medals—silver from Richard "Torpedo" Thompson in the men's 100m and silver in the men's 4x100m relay.
"There are some who came in with realistic chances, based on their performances leading up to the Games. Once everything goes well, we're supposed to see a better performance than in Beijing 2008. I anticipate we will be going back home with some medals."
Voisin said the pre-Games training camp in Cardiff, Wales was extremely useful.
"One of the better camps in recent years. Thanks to the Olympic Committee (TTOC) and their support staff, together with the NAAA (National Association of Athletics Administrations) staff. It was very successful. We were able to bond lots more than in the past. It's the first time in several years we scheduled relay practice and the athletes honoured it."
Marc Burns, who teamed up with Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Thompson for men's 4x100m silver in Beijing, was the T&T flagbearer at last night's opening ceremony, at the Olympic Stadium.
Voisin expects the men's and women's sprint relay teams to do well here in London.
"A lot of people are saying that's where the medals lie. Once we get the baton around, I cannot see any reason why we won't be successful in the 4x1 men and women."
The team manager said the Cardiff camp helped with team chemistry.
"It has improved a lot. In the fray now, we have (Rondel) Sorrillo. He earned his place on the team, and has made the adjustment very quickly."
Bledman, Thompson and Sorrillo are expected to face the starter in the men's 100m dash. Sorrillo will also compete in the 200m.
Voisin said Bledman's recent injury scare is not a cause for concern.
"To date, I haven't gotten any official word that Keston was injured. At the camp I saw him running as normal. He got a cramp in his hip while in the blocks at the Aviva London Grand Prix, but in a couple days time he was back in training."
In June, Bledman won the national 100m title with a personal best 9.86 seconds dash.
"Based on Keston's performances for the season, we have a medal prospect. But before a medal comes, you have to make the final. And Richard says he's much better. He's on the improve."
Kelly-Ann Baptiste is T&T's best medal prospect among the women.
"I've seen her in training," said Voisin. "She's still doing treatment for discomfort in her Achilles, but looks comfortable. Kelly-Ann is definitely a medal contender."