With the Tokyo Olympic Games less than 200 days away, Australia’s Olympic Pistol athletes have stepped up their preparation for the Games with an intensive month-long training camp at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre (BISC) in Belmont.

Under the direction of Olympic Pistol coach, Vladimir Galiabovitch, Australia’s Olympic Pistol athletes – Elena Galiabovitch, Dina Aspandiyarova, Daniel Repacholi and Sergei Evglevski – have been joined in the camp by ACT’s Thomas Ashmore and Brisbane’s Civon Smith.

The camp will culminate with the athletes competing in the BISC Cup on January 29-31, which is also the first selection event for the Junior World Championship scheduled to be held in Peru between September 25 and October 10.

Coach Galiabovitch said the camp was an important step in the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics after the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Games and saw all national and international competitions cancelled after the selection of the Australian Olympic Shooting team last April.

“Because of border restrictions, this is the first time we have been able to come together to meet and practice as a team,” said Galiabovitch.

“The athletes have been restricted to shooting at their local clubs and it was more difficult for Victorians Elena and Sergei who were in lockdown for a significant period of time. Therefore, they were only able to do dry firing or train with a simulator of live shooting – the SCATT training system.

“This system provides athletes with feedback on the quality of the technical outputs for each shot on a computer screen, reveals the steadiness of their firearm in an aiming area, and traces the firearms movements before and after a shot,” he added.

“For most of the athletes, this camp will allow them to practice on the ranges with electronic targets for the first time in nine months while acclimatising to hot and humid conditions which we will experience in Tokyo.”

After the BISC Cup, the Olympic Pistol athletes will contest four domestic competitions before heading off to the Tokyo Olympics.

The domestic Pre-Olympic competitions which are part of the Shooting Australia Performance Series are:

February 12-14:               Sydney Cup at the Sydney International Shooting Centre

April 1-4:                       Pistol Australia Nationals at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre

May 14-16:                    Brisbane Cup at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre

June 3-6:                       Brisbane Cup at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre

Further information:

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]


Shooting Australia has recently approved its 2021 Anti-Doping Policy which comes into effect on 1 January 2021.

The Shooting Australia anti-doping policy is the Australian National Anti-Doping Policy and can be found on the Sport Integrity Australia website here

All members, participants and non-participants in the sport of target shooting are bound by these rules. This includes athletes, support personnel and employees whose employment contracts enables this.

It is important that all members understand their obligations under the new policy. Changes include a new anti-doping rule violation of retaliation, a category of athletes that is lower-level and flexibility related to sanctioning for certain levels of athletes/participants.

Further information can be found here

For more information about all Integrity topics, visit the Sports Integrity webpage


Shooting genes produced a silver lining

By Greg Campbell

James Nomarhas always had the genes to be a world class Pistol athlete, but he never knew his pedigree for Shooting until after he captured a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.

In his pursuit to find a sport where he could excel with cerebral palsy, Nomarhas tried track and field and swimming, but without success.

He said he impersonated the “sinking Titanic” when in the pool and tried “chuck, throw and heave”, more commonly known as discus, javelin and shot put, but found the throwing actions placed too great a strain on his back.

It wasn’t until he met Australian Paralympic Pistol and Rifle athlete, Keith Bremner, in the early 1990’s that he decided to try Shooting.

“I never knew there was Shooting for people with disabilities, so I decided to give it a go,” said Nomarhas.

Within a few years, Nomarhas won Australian team selection for the 1994 FESPIC Games in Beijing.

“That was real fun and an eye opener,” recalled Nomarhas.

It was only when his aunty Katina showed him an item from a Greek newspaper from the 1960’s after the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games that he learned his father Sam won a shooting competition while he served in the Greek Army.

“That’s the weird thing. I didn’t know he had won an Army Shooting competition. He served in a machine gun company but, like many from the War, didn’t discuss his time in the Army,” he said.

Nomarhas earned selection for the Atlanta Paralympics and was thrilled to return home with the silver medal in the Mixed Sports Pistol SH1 event.

Also competing on the line with Nomarhas was Bremner and Iain Fischer, but only Nomarhas qualified for the final.

In the final, the event was dominated by Russian soldier Andrey Lebedinskiy who easily captured the gold medal scoring 683.2 with Nomarhas (660.7) holding off the fast-finishing German, Roland Hartmann, to claim the silver medal.

“I was just so focused. I didn’t know what was going on. The match went for around two hours, but I can only remember about 15 minutes,” he said.

“At the end, I asked my coach how I went. In the greatest understatement of the year, he said I went reasonably well,” he said.

With a Paralympic Games silver medal safely tucked away, Nomarhas was then a member of the 10-member Australian Shooting team for the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games which also included the legendary Libby Kosmala and the late Ashley Adams.

In a busy competition schedule, Nomarhas was also entered for the Mixed Free Pistol SH1 and the Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 events.

Nomarhas’ hopes to emulate his Atlanta podium success in the Mixed Sports Pistol SH1 event were undermined when severely hampered by rheumatoid arthritis at the Games.

Competing alongside Nomarhas at the Sydney Paralympics were Peter Tait and Jeff Lane, with Tait qualifying for the final where he claimed the silver medal, while Nomarhas missed qualifying for the final by just three points.

Nomarhas also finished 10th in the Mixed Free Pistol SH1 where he missed the final by a mere one point.

In addition to his illness, Nomarhas admits he was unable to replicate the same steely-minded focus that he was able to produce in Atlanta.

“Sydney was the best Games. It was brilliant,” he enthused.

“It was an interesting time competing in front of family and friends. I tried to get the same focus, but I got a bit carried away,” he added.

Nomarhas was selected for his third Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004 and the experience was particularly gratifying given his Greek heritage.

In Athens, Nomarhas lined-up for one event, the Mixed Sports Pistol SH1, and finished 10th again after missing qualifying for the final again by a mere three points.

After Athens, Nomarhas stepped down from chasing Australian team selection.

“It was costing me a lot of money to compete and it was affecting my family life,” he said.

He continued to shoot on home soil and broke the Australian P1 10m Air Pistol record when setting a new mark of 556 at the National Championships held in Cessnock in 2009 – a record which remains in place today.

Now aged 69 and living in Wallendbeen with his wife Carole, just outside Cootamundra, Nomarhas continues to shoot socially at Young and Harden Pistol Club.


Shooting Australia today announced a comprehensive program of events for the 2021 National Performance Series.

The series that was cancelled in 2020, will see up to 40 major competitions held across the Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun and Fullbore disciplines with several of them fully integrated with Able and Para athletes shooting side by side.

Commencing next month, the majority of Performance Series events in each discipline will serve as selection qualifying events for either the 2021 ISSF Junior World Championships, the 2021 Oceania Shooting Federation Championships, or the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships to be held in India in January, 2022.

Conducted in partnership with Shooting Australia’s Member Organisations and Event Partners, the 2021 Performance Series will also provide the most meaningful competition for athletes in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in July, August, and September next year.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said the Performance Series schedule provides a multitude of benefits for athletes while providing a clear National Teams selection pathway.

“Given the uncertainty of whether our Olympic and Paralympic Team members will be able to travel overseas prior to the Tokyo Games, we need to ensure there is a high-level domestic competition series that gives athletes a great preparation before they leave for the Games,” said Mr van Kempen.

“We’re also utilising the Performance Series to select our National Teams who will compete at the 2021 ISSF Junior World Championships, 2021 Oceania Shooting Federation Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships. These teams will be selected from the nominated events within each discipline over the course of the year.

“This means that there will be consistent opportunities for athletes to compete in meaningful, high-level competitions which we believe will continue to elevate athlete performance standards.

Mr van Kempen also outlined a revamped National Team Selection Strategy and a new National Squad Structure.

“The existing National Squad, Aiming for Gold (A4G), was established to identify a group of athletes who Shooting Australia support to develop towards National Team selection and medal success in international competition,” said Mr van Kempen.

“Over the course of this year, we reviewed this structure in line with the direction that the Australian Institute of Sport is taking with all of their funded sports. As a result, we have developed a new three-tier squad structure,” he added.

The squads are:

High Performance Squad – Current world-class athletes who have demonstrated their ability to regularly make finals and win medals in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) competitions in recent years
Performance Squad – Athletes who are regularly achieving selection to National Teams and whose international performances indicate that they are ‘on track’ to making finals and win medals in ISSF competitions
Pathways Squad – Athletes who are considered capable of achieving National Team selection based largely on their performances in domestic competition (i.e. junior or senior) and demonstrated commitment to becoming a High Performance athlete.

“The introduction of this tiered National Squad structure will enhance our program impact by allowing a clear delineation of athletes at different stages of their development allowing us to cater for them with appropriate support and resourcing,” said Mr van Kempen.

“Under the new structure our National Coaches and High Performance staff will have the ability to engage with athletes earlier in their journey through the evolving pathway,” he added.

Mr van Kempen said the High Performance Selection Strategy was reviewed following the Tokyo 2020 cycle.

“The National Team Selection Strategy has been revamped as we head into the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic cycle. The improvements to the strategy are in line with the changes we’ve seen across the Australian Institute of Sport direction for Australian High Performance sport, as well as the changes to the ISSF competition structure leading into Paris 2024.

“We’re confident that our new National Squad structure along with the 2021-2022 National Team Selection Strategy and 2021 Performance Series of events will go a long way to ensuring Shooting remains one of Australia’s most successful Olympic sports,” he said.

Full details of the event specific selection policies will be available in the New Year.

2021 NATIONAL PERFORMANCE SERIES

Team Selection Key
jWCH: ISSF Junior World Championships
OC: Oceania Championships
CSC: Commonwealth Shooting Championships

PISTOL – Pistol Australia (PA)

 

 

 

 

 

Rifle – Target Rifle Australia (TRA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shotgun – Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fullbore – National Rifle Association of Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further information; Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications, Ph; 0418 239 139. E: [email protected]

 


The Vella fella aimed up for gold medal success

By Greg Campbell

Adam Vella enjoyed a celebrated international Trap and Double Trap Shooting career highlighted by four Commonwealth Games gold medals, nine World Cup and Oceania Championship titles, plus an Olympic Games bronze medal.

While Vella proudly represented the green and gold of Australia for more than two decades in a decorated international career, he could have easily been wearing the red and white colours of Malta.

When he was rising through the world rankings prior to the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, Maltese officials learned that Vella’s father was born in Malta and emigrated to Australia when aged five.

In 2002, Malta was to host a competition for European nations and, even though he was born in Melbourne, Vella was a prime target to join their ranks.

While the offer to compete in a one-off competition for Malta had appeal, Vella quickly learned that he would be prohibited from representing Australia for four years and soon declined to participate.

“Once you get released from Australia, you then have to wait four years before they take you back,” Vella said at the time.

Malta’s loss was soon Australia’s gain when Vella combined with 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games Men’s Trap gold medallist, Michael Diamond, to win the Men’s Trap Pairs at the 2002 Manchester Games.

It proved to be the beginning of a dominant Commonwealth Games partnership with the duo capturing the Men’s Trap Pairs on home soil at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and then again at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.

They were only denied a fourth consecutive gold medal when the Men’s Trap Pairs event was not included on the competition program at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Following his Manchester Games gold medal, the Frankston Clay Target Club member captured the first of his two Men’s Trap World Cup Final victories months later before winning the World Cup event in Perth at the beginning of 2003.

In Perth, Vella also won silver in the Men’s Double Trap before collecting a further silver in Men’s Double Trap in the World Cup event in New Delhi.

Together with World Cup silver medals in the Men’s Trap in New Delhi and Lonato, Vella’s world ranking in both Trap and Double Trap soared and he became the first person ever to be ranked world number one in both events.

Despite his outstanding performances on the international circuit, Vella’s career was mostly overshadowed by Diamond.

As the focus of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games drew tighter, all eyes were on whether Diamond could emulate the feats of women’s 100m freestyle legend, Dawn Fraser, and become the first Australian male Olympian to win an individual gold medal in three successive Olympics.

Competing in hot, windy conditions in Athens, Diamond could only manage 119 from 125 targets in the qualifying round and was a shock exclusion for the six-man final. Vella downed 121 targets to qualify fifth for the final.

After missing his third target, Vella was faultless for the remainder of the final and leap-frogged into the bronze medal position behind the peerless Russian, Alexei Alipov, and Italy’s Giovanni Pellielo.

Despite his early hiccup, Vella was steely focused and only glanced at the scoreboard with three shots remaining and, disbelievingly, saw that he was placed third.

“I’m looking at the board thinking ‘that can’t be right’. I didn’t know where I was. It wasn’t until the last shot that I turned to my coach and knew it,” he said at the time.

Months later, Vella later proved that his Olympic medal wasn’t a fluke when capturing his second World Cup Final gold medal in Slovenia.

Vella continued his great international form and regained the Men’s Trap world number one ranking in 2007.

But despite this record, Vella was controversially overlooked for Olympic team selection by a single target for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where Diamond and Craig Henwood were the preferred Australian team choices.

Unbowed, Vella savoured Olympic Games selection at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games but was unable to qualify for the final.

But in the lead-up to the Rio Olympics, Vella enjoyed another memorable career moment when winning the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games individual Men’s Trap gold medal.

He was the silver medallist behind Diamond at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and was placed fourth in the event at the 2010 New Delhi Games.

Shooting in Carnoustie, Vella snuck into the semi-final round as the last of six finalists with Diamond topping the scoreboard.

Vella marched through to the four-man final with a perfect score of 15 targets while Diamond managed 12 and earned a place in the bronze medal match, which he ultimately lost to India’s Manavjit Sandhu.

In the gold medal match against England’s Aaron Heading, Vella was in control until nerves kicked in and he missed three successive targets.

‘I thought I wasn’t going to miss, that was the problem. And when I did miss it put me on the back foot. I made the fatal error of trying to adjust and didn’t attack the target,” said Vella.

“By the time I worked out to keep attacking, I had let three (targets) go. I was trying to find my rhythm and my heart-rate was up, but I pushed through to the end.

“After getting silver in Manchester, it was a long haul to get the (individual) gold. Good things come to those who wait and it’s nice to get this one under my belt,” he added.

Following the Rio Olympics, Vella was appointed as Australia’s National High Performance Shotgun Coach and guided the Trap and Skeet athletes at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Vella ultimately stepped down from the post at the end of the 2018 international season and concentrated on his Oz Shooting coaching, corporate shooting and events business.

An international sports career involves many sacrifices and support from family, friends and team staff. And as he proudly views his swag of medals and trophies, it proves that it was all worth the many years of effort.

 


Sports social media data specialists Shunt have revealed in a recent report that shooting clubs around the country have upped their Facebook productivity in the last five years by over 100% while engagement has leapt a staggering 350%. Not even Covid can knock clubs off-target with 2020 results suggesting a full recovery is within sight.  

Engagement levels (total reactions, comments and shares) from the 265 clubs monitored has risen from 60,637 in 2015 to 272,325 last year. This represents one of the steepest growth profiles Shunt has seen from 20 sports surveyed and suggests audiences are increasingly ‘liking’ what clubs are posting.

In another interesting chart, the 2020 productivity graph for shooting clubs nationally started strongly reaching a high of 1,638 in March just as lockdowns took effect. What followed was a significant drop in posts published, falling to a low of 522 in April before steadily climbing back to pre-Covid levels by October in what has been an encouraging recovery for the sport.

Another core metric Shunt monitors closely is the performance of posts published on Facebook. This is calculated via a simple ratio (average number of engagements per post) and acts as a useful indicator in determining whether clubs have got the balance between post quantity and quality right.

Here we can see that Wagga Clay Target Club are averaging 38.52 engagements per post, with Guyra Gun Club close behind on 36.61 with Goulburn Clay Target Club third.

Shunt’s report suggests that shooting clubs around the country have been steadily building their social media capacity and capabilities for the last five years. This has enabled them to manage the disruptive effects of Covid-19 and emerge well-placed for further gains in 2021.

To see the full Shunt report including Top-10 club results for audience size, productivity and engagement in what is a good news story for the sport at the end of a challenging year click here


Shooting Australia today announced its 2021 National Performance Series in all target Shooting disciplines will involve several events that will be fully integrated with Para Shooters competing alongside the nation’s best able-bodied athletes, including those who have been selected for the Tokyo Olympics.

The ground-breaking decision co-incides with today’s celebration of International Day of People with a Disability.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said that for selected events, competitors in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun disciplines will all compete under International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) competition regulations, proving that the sport is fully inclusive regardless of ability or disability.

“For example, we will see Paralympic Rifle athletes Anton Zappelli and Natalie Smith shooting on the line against Dane Sampson and Elise Collier, who have been selected for the Tokyo Olympics. Olympic Trap athletes James Willett and Thomas Grice, who will make his Olympic debut in Tokyo, will be lining up against Para Shooting Trap World Record holder, Scottie Brydon,” he added.

“Shooting competitions in Australia have staged the odd event in the past where Para and able-bodied athletes have shot on the same line, and now we have the opportunity to further integrate this into our 2021 National Performance Series,” said van Kempen.

“Integrated competition in our Performance Series is the initiative of our National Coaches and is fully supported by our leading Olympians and Paralympians,” he added.

“There are some events such as men’s and women’s Air Rifle Prone, which is an exclusive Paralympics event, where integration is not possible.”

The decision represents a major breakthrough according to 12-time Paralympian and nine-time Paralympic Shooting gold medallist, Libby Kosmala.

In 1994, Kosmala famously sought legal action after she was denied entry into the South Australian Club Champions final after being crowned the Morialta Club Champion.

“This is fantastic news,” said Kosmala. “It’s something I’ve been pushing for for many years.”

Sampson said the decision will have wider benefits.

“This is good news and good for the sport. Hopefully, it will lead to more clubs and organisations conducting more fully integrated Shooting events,” said Sampson.

The 2021 National Performance Series events schedule will be announced later this month.

Shooting Australia, together with their Member Organisations will continue to work closely with 2021 National Performance Series host clubs and venues to ensure they are supported in the smooth and efficient delivery of fully integrated competitions.

Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]


Potent by name, potent by ability

By Greg Campbell

Here’s a sports trivia question.

Name an athlete who has claimed two World Championship titles 28 years apart and captured an Olympic medal along the way?

No idea? Try Warren Potent.

Warren Potent is not a name which immediately springs to mind in the list of Australian sports greats, but the five-time Olympic Rifle shooter deserves to be listed in elite company.

In an amazing career, Potent captured his first World Championship title in 1986 as the rookie 24-year old member of the Australian 50m Rifle Prone Team, and later seized his individual 50m Rifle Prone World title in Grenada, Spain in 2014 at the ripe age of 52 years.

Throw in his 2008 Beijing Olympic Games bronze medal, four Commonwealth Games medals including a gold, and over 11 World Cup and Oceania Championship gold medals, then you have an understanding why Potent is regarded as one of Australia’s all-time Shooting greats.

Like many other Australian sports champions, Potent fell into Shooting by accident as a 16-year old schoolboy in Sydney’s western suburbs.

At the time, Potent was a rising, enthusiastic tennis player and was invited by a mate to go have a shot at Blacktown Rifle Range. Potent enjoyed the experience and returned every fortnight.

At the end of season Awards evening, Potent was presented with the Encouragement Award.

“It encouraged me to keep going. After playing tennis for so many years and getting nothing and doing shooting for six or eight months and getting a trophy, I thought this is pretty good,” he recalled.

Potent quickly rose through the club, state and national ranks and was named as the team rookie, alongside seasoned international Olympic athletes Don Brook and Alan Smith, in the Australian 50m Rifle Prone Team to contest the 1986 World Championships held in Suhl.

At the time, Suhl was behind the Berlin Wall in East Germany and the memories remain vivid for the amiable Potent.

“It was very interesting. During the Opening Ceremony, you knew who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Apparently, we were the bad guys” he said.

“It was amazing to go away on my first trip overseas and come back as a world champion and share a world record with two friends,” he said.

Despite his World Championship gold medal, Brook and Smith were preferred selections for the Australian team at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and Potent was named a reserve.

“I wasn’t disappointed. I am a realist. I know how things work. Alan Smith and Don Brook were better shooters than I was at that time,” he said.

Potent then slipped out of high level Shooting for several years to dedicate his time to a business franchise before he was drawn back to the scene after Sydney was awarded the 2000 Olympics in 1993.

“Winning the (Olympic) Bid whet my appetite again and I decided to give it ago. I started training again and started to make teams again,” he said.

In 1998, he attended the first of his four Commonwealth Games and picked up the bronze medal in the 50m Rifle Prone Teams event with Timothy Lowndes.

His Olympic Games dreams were realised at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the first of his five Olympics, where he finished 19th.

“I walked away knowing that was the best I could do. I walked away without any ‘what ifs ‘and that’s what I was happy about,” he said.

He was dogged by illness at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, was hampered by the heat at the 2004 Athens Olympics, “not my best experience,” and was out of the medals at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

But later in 2006 at the World Championship in Zagreb, he switched to a new Swiss-made rifle and suddenly a new Shooting world opened.

“My mental outlook was different. I always got really nervous, but this day was different. I shot one iffy shot and I knew exactly why and where,” he recalled.

“That one shot changed my whole mental perspective, and I went through and made the final. After that, I gained so much confidence and, for some reason, I had a lot of fun and I found everything easy for a long time,” he added.

Between 2007 and 2010, Potent was a force on the international stage peeling off seven World Cup victories, including a record-breaking three wins in 2009, plus the gold medal at the 2008 World Cup final in Bangkok.

He also became Australia’s first and only Olympic Rifle medallist when capturing the bronze medal in the individual 50m Rifle Prone at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Potent arrived as one of the gold medal favourites and shot an impressive five consecutive scores of 99 out of 100 in the qualifying round before a perfect sixth and final round score of 100 saw him ranked fourth for the final.

But with qualifying scores carrying forward into the final, Potent was at long odds to claim the gold medal from Ukraine’s Artur Ayvazyan who shot a near perfect qualifying score of 599 out of 600.

“Knowing that I always have been a reasonably good finals shooter, I knew I had a chance of climbing up and getting on the dais,” he said.

In the final, Potent registered 105.5 – the best score of all finalists – to jump into the bronze medal position, a mere 2.2 points from the gold medal.

“It was probably three shots to go when I realised I was coming third. I got really wound up, the nerves really started kicking in, the heart rate really pounded, and the last three shots were phenomenally good,” he said proudly.

“I always wanted to be an Olympian ever since I was a little kid, and I finally got to go onto the dais at an Olympic Games. I think I was the most excited person on the dais,” he added.

Making the moment even more emotional was the passing of his mother Joyce three months prior to the Games after a battle with Alzheimer’s.

“Loved ones certainly help to inspire you,” Potent said after receiving his bronze medal.

“She would’ve probably been my biggest fan, from junior days to now. I thought about her just before I started qualification. I got a bit emotional before I started and told myself to pull `yourself together and get going’,” he said at the time.

Potent continued to represent Australia at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games picking up silver medals in the individual and teams 50m Rifle Prone events but failed to reach the final at the 2012 London Olympics.

Having made the decision in 2013 to retire after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2014 was a year of immense satisfaction for Potent where he finally captured an elusive Commonwealth Games gold medal in Glasgow before triumphing at the World Championship in Grenada.

“Qualifications went good, I shot consistently right to the end. I just let it happen. In the final I just shot as good as I could,” he said of his performance in Grenada.

While Potent will continue to shoot with the Legion Club in Sydney, his international retirement could not have been better timed with the 50m Rifle Prone event removed from the Tokyo Olympic competition program next year.

“It’s a shame to be honest. A lot of people, who probably would have made it to an Olympic Games,  won’t be able to now,” he said.

Instead they will be relying on World Championships to define their sports careers. And as Potent has shown, Shooting is a sport where time is on your side.


Shooting Australia has gone to market to appoint an official apparel supplier, including a licensed merchandise range, for National teams, Pathway Teams, Events Officials and Events staff.

Shooting Australia has issued an Expression of Interest and intends to make an appointment before Christmas.

Shooting Australia General Manager Commercial and Marketing, Sarah Brady, said Australia is regarded as one of the best Shooting nations in the world.

“This is a great opportunity for an apparel company to partner with one of Australia’s premier international Olympic sports,” said Ms Brady.

“Shooting is Australia’s seventh most successful Olympic sports and has produced several gold medallists in recent times including Michael Diamond, Russell Mark, Suzy Balogh and, most recently, Catherine Skinner at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games,” said Ms Brady.

“Australian athletes have excelled at Paralympic Games, and Australia is the most successful nation in Shooting at the Commonwealth Games.

“We have also produced a number of World Champions. In 2019, Olympians James Willett and Laetisha Scanlan won the World Trap Mixed Pairs title, with team-mates Tom Grice and Penny Smith claiming the bronze medal,” added Ms Brady.

“These teams will be forces to be reckon with at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.”

Australian teams regularly travel overseas, in normal times, to contest World Cup and other major international championship across mainland Europe, Gulf nations, Asia plus North and South America.

Australia will also host the 2024 Junior World Championships for Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun disciplines at the Sydney International Shooting Centre (SISC) at Cecil Park.

Further information;

Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications. Ph: 0418 239 139 E: [email protected]


Olympic Pistol athlete Elena Galiabovitch has been named as one of 14 Victoria Institute of Sport (VIS)  athletes to win 2XU Coach Awards. The awards were announced as part of the 2020 Victorian Institute of Sport Awards presented last night.

The 2XU Coach Awards were presented to an athlete in each VIS sport program who is the most deserving within this calendar year.

This year was also the first time that athletes from the Individual Scholarship Program and the Future Talent Program received a Coach Awards.

“Elena is living the VIS’ motto of “Success in Sport and Life,” said VIS Nicky Frey, Shooting Program Manager.

“She has managed to juggle night shifts as a doctor with training and staying in touch with the performance support team. She is highly self-aware and when she has her mind set on something, she will do It.

“2020 was always going to be a challenging year for Elena. A second Olympics and a chance to be competitive amongst the world’s best was one thing, delaying her medical ambitions to enter a surgical program another,” added Frey.

“Already committing to six months away from her medical career, the postponement of Tokyo threw up another huge hurdle of blowing out that professional hiatus to 18 months.

“With a couple of weeks to process what this meant, Elena embarked on ways to continue training for Tokyo while taking on work that would not only provide income, but keep her learning and progressing in her professional capacity.

“2020 therefore had become a year to continue training and technical development, physical and mental skills training while taking on night duty locums including COVID isolation wards, working in the telehealth area in urology clinics and embarking on a Masters of Surgery.

“Elena has successfully gained a place on a surgical program next year after performing well through the interview process. She has deferred entry until post Tokyo,” said Frey.

Galiabovitch said; “I would like to thank my family, my parents and all of the support staff at the Victorian Institute of Sport. Everyone around me has been really supporting and encouraging and has helped me get to where I want to be especially during this challenging time.

“There is a real feeling of community at the VIS, which I’m really grateful for. Also thank you to 2XU for sponsoring this award.”

Further information; Greg Campbell, PRISM Strategic Communications, Ph: 0418 239 139.