Argiro and Bell take perfect aim at Olympic trials

Victoria’s Luke Argiro and NSW’s Joshua Bell both shot a perfect round to set the standard in the Men’s Skeet at the Commonwealth Championships at Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club today.

The Championship is the first of four events to determine selection for the Australian shooting team to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Argiro, 23, commenced the Men’s Skeet in brilliant fashion downing all 25 targets in the first of three rounds, while Bell ended the day on a perfect note with a maximum score.

It was a great comeback by Bell who completed only 20 targets in the opening round before recovering to miss only one target in the second round, and then ended with a perfect round.

“It was a good way to drag myself out of a hole. It certainly has put me in a better mindset for the rounds tomorrow,” said Bell.

Argiro hit 23 of 25 targets in both the second and third rounds to take a two shot lead going into the final two qualifying rounds tomorrow.

Argiro, who represented Australia in five international events last year and won a bronze medal in the World Cup event in the UAE, was unaware that he was leading the Men’s Skeet after the first day as he religiously does not monitor scores when in competition.

“I’ve never looked at the scores to see where I’m placed. I just focus on the next shot,” he said.

“But it was a nice start, but I always like to do better. There is still more to come,” he added.

2019 Oceania Championship gold medallist, Paul Adams from Queensland, also shot consistently with two scores of 24 in the second and third rounds to be placed equal second on 69 points with Bell.

The performances of Argiro, Bell and Adams have placed pressure on dual Olympian Keith Ferguson from Victoria.

The 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympian finished the day in seventh position on 65 points.

“You can never write off Keith. He is very well equipped and is likely to go out and shoot all 50 targets tomorrow,” said Bell.

The top six shooters at the completion of tomorrow’s two qualifying rounds will progress to the final tomorrow afternoon.

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Lauren Coles, ended the Women’s Skeet first day of competition locked with New Zealand Olympian Chloe Tipple on 68 points.

The next best Australian is Queensland’s Cherie Reeves who finished strongly with two rounds of 24 to finish on 65 points ahead of 2016 Rio Olympian Aislin Jones (63 points).

Reeves is trying to emulate the feats of her mother, 2002 Commonwealth Games Women’s Trap Pairs gold medallist Diane Reeves, and win Australian section for a Games.

The top six Men’s scores after Day 1 are: Luke Argiro (Vic) 71; Joshua Bell (NSW) 69; Paul Adams (Qld) 69; Elie Lahoud (WA) 69; Frank Morris (NSW) 68; James Bolding (Vic) 67.

The top six Women’s scores after Day 1 are: Lauren Coles (WA) 68, Chloe Tipple (NZ) 68; Cherie Reeves (Qld) 65; Aislin Jones (Vic) 63; Brittany Melbourne (Vic) 61, Bridgette McKinnon (SA) 47.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications

Shooting Australia