Shooting Australia today congratulated the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on its foresight and flexibility to approve a Commonwealth Shooting Championship in 2022.

Shooting Australia said the CGF’s decision to endorse Commonwealth sports shooting and archery championships in Chandigarh, the capital of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, in January 2022 has delighted shooting athletes and its member organisations.

The shooting and archery events will be held in India prior to the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Birmingham, England, from 27 July – 7 August 2022.

The CGF stated the Chandigarh 2022 and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth sports championships will be two separately organised and funded Commonwealth sport events.

The CGF also added that medals won in India will be included as part of the medal table one week after the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.

Shooting Australia President, Cath Fettell, said the CGF’s decision has delighted athletes and its member organisations.

“Shooting has a long and proud history within the Commonwealth sports movement and the decision by the CGF is warmly welcomed by Shooting Australia and the wider target sports shooting community,” said Ms Fettell.

“Representing Australia at a Commonwealth event is a major international career ambition for our athletes, and we are delighted they will again have the opportunity in 2022,” added Ms Fettell.

Shooting Australia High Performance Director, Adam Sachs, said the 2022 Commonwealth event represents a significant competition target for Australian shooting athletes.

“Shooting is world class and highly competitive among the Commonwealth nations and the staging of this event will assist in the preparation for future international events including the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris,” said Sachs.

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

Dan Repacholi staked a decisive early claim for selection to a fifth Olympic Games when winning the first men’s 10m Air Pistol final in the Tokyo Olympic Games pistol nomination event at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre today.

The big, burly pistol athlete from Cessnock in NSW showed his class when scoring 240.1 points ahead West Australians Bailey Groves (234.5) and Mike Giustiniano (211.9).

Earlier, Repacholi qualified for the final with an impressive score of 569 – six shots ahead of Groves (563).

Repacholi attended the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games without returning home with a medal and, if he wins selection for Tokyo, is hellbent on adding to Australia’s medal tally.

Repacholi indicated that he would retire after winning the men’s 10m Air Pistol gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but the lure of another Olympics proved to be too powerful.

“I’m not spending all this time away from my beautiful wife and kids just to get another tracksuit,” said Repacholi.

“I’ve got enough of them. I want to win and stand on the dais,” he said.

Repacholi said he has been working on ensuring he begins his finals in strong fashion.

“I got away to a good start today but the last few shots weren’t what I was after,” he said.

In the women’s 25m Pistol final, Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch (28 targets) claimed her second gold medal of the weekend when scoring a comfortable victory ahead of South Australia’s Alison Heinrich (21) and Queensland’s Civon Smith (16).

Galiabovitch won the women’s 10m Air Pistol on Friday and was runner-up in the event yesterday.

Galiabovitch, a 2016 Rio Olympian, qualified for the final in second position after completing the session behind Smith.

The Melbourne doctor, who won the silver medal in the event at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, found the right medicine for the final while Smith was unable to match her qualifying form.

The pistol shooters will contest the next round of the Olympic Games nomination events in Brisbane on March 6, 7 and 8.

Victoria’s Sergei Evglevski took an important first step towards his Olympic dream when winning the gold medal in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire pistol in the Tokyo Olympic Games nomination trials at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre today.

In the first of two Tokyo Olympic Games 25m Rapid Fire Pistol events to be held this weekend, Evglevski recorded 31 points to defeat ACT’s Thomas Ashmore (24 points) with West Australia’s Scott Anderson (18) earning the bronze medal.

Evglevski, who won the silver medal in the event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, is the son of six-time Olympian Lalita Yauhleuskaya and he is aiming to follow in his mother’s sizeable Olympic footsteps.

The final was delayed by two hours because of technical issues and had to be moved to a different site, before there was another 20 minute technical disruption midway through the decider.

“That wasn’t ideal, but you have to deal with things like that. I just tried to forget about it,” said Evglevski.

Evglevski said he felt comfortable in the final and used motivational phrases to maintain his concentration.

“I told myself to be tougher and push harder,” he said. “But I think I lost focus after the second interruption.”

Evglevski fired a world class qualifying score of 583 points out of a possible 600, including consecutive rounds of 98, 99 and 98 out of 100 in the second stage.

“I wasn’t nervous, but I didn’t think my attitude was right in the first half of qualifying,” he said.

Earlier, Victoria’ Elena Galiabovitch, a 2016 Olympian and a 2018 Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallist, claimed the women’s 10m Air Pistol in a dominant display.

Although qualifying second behind three-time Olympian, Queensland’s Dina Aspandiyarova, Galiabovitch was untroubled when registering 239.3 points to outshoot NSW’s Dannielle Moleman (235) and Aspandiyarova (212).

The highlight of Galiabovitch’s performance was a perfect 10.9 with six shots remaining.

Aspandiyarova seemed certain to earn the silver medal but fired a score of 8.2 with her second last shot.

Moleman jumped ahead of her with a brilliant 10.6 to avoid elimination and go into the race for the gold medal but was unable to overhaul.

Victoria’s Sergei Evglevski is aiming to build on his mother’s legacy when he competes in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol when the Australian Olympic team nomination trials are held at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre between 21 and 23.

Evglevski’s mother, Lalita Yauhleuskaya, was a world class shooter who won a bronze medal in the women’s 25m Sport Pistol for her native Belarus at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games – four years after finishing eighth in the 10m Air Pistol at the Atlanta Games.

Yauhleuskaya became an Australian citizen after the Sydney Olympics and represented her new country at the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games.

She also represented Australia at the 2002 Manchester, 2006 Melbourne, 2010 Delhi, 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she won a total of seven gold, one silver and two bronze medals in a decorated career.

The Evglevski family’s Olympic association goes even deeper with Sergei’s father, Sergei Evglevski Snr., the gunsmith for the Australian team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and on the Australian team coaching staff for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Evglevski, West Australia’s Bailey Groves and ACT’s Thomas Ashmore are challenging for one Australian Olympic team spot in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol after registering a Minimum Qualification Scores when winning the Oceania Championship in Sydney last November.

Evglevski represented Australia at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he won silver in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol.

“Winning a silver medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was a big deal for me. The competition is a huge one for Australia and to be able to win a medal and do it in front of a huge crowd was a great feeling,” said Evglevski.

Evglevski was only three years old when his mother won her Olympic bronze medal but is driven to carve out his own Olympic career.

“Unfortunately, I do not have an Olympic memory, however flaunting Mum’s Olympic bronze medal at school is a memory I will always remember,” he said.

“My ambition is to reach and succeed at the pinnacle of shooting, which is the Olympic Games. Not only do I want to qualify, I want to succeed,” he added.

Evglevski isn’t the only pistol athlete looking to maintain an Olympic family association at the nomination trials.

Melbourne doctor, Elena Galiabovitch, is hoping to win selection for her second Olympic Games when she competes in the women’s 25m Sport Pistol and 10m Air Pistol events in which she won silver and bronze medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Keeping a close eye on her progress will be Galiabovitch’s father, Vladimir, who is the Australian National Pistol Coach for the Tokyo Games and was Pistol coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

One of Galiabovitch’s main rivals will be Queensland’s Dina Aspandiyarova who represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games.

Aspandiyarova is coached by her husband Anatoly Babushkin who was the Australian Olympic pistol coach at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

Aspandiyarova competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympics for Kazakhstan where she finished sixth in the women’s 10m Air Pistol before moving to Australia with her husband in 2003.

She is looking to win selection for her third Australian Olympic team after competing at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.

Last shot Dane has done it again.

Queensland’s Dane Sampson completed a clean sweep of the Tokyo Olympic Games nomination rifle events when recording another last gasp victory in the first men’s 3 Positions final at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

Trailing South Australia’s Jack Rossiter by 0.5 points with two shots remaining in the standing section, Sampson shot a score of 9.9 while Rossiter fired a 9.5 to see his lead cut to just 0.1 points.

Then with the final shot, Sampson jumped to victory with a score of 10.5 while Rossiter managed a 10.2.

Sampson ultimately scored a total of 451.7 points ahead of Rossiter (451.5) with South Australia’s Alex Hoberg (439.4) taking the bronze medal.

Rossiter opened a 4.3 point margin over Sampson after the kneeling section, but the margin was reduced to 3.7 points after the prone shots.

Rossiter led by 1.8 points with four shots remaining but then wobbled with a score of 9.2 while Sampson fired a near perfect 10.8 to reduce the lead to 0.2.

Rossiter then extended the lead to 0.5 points with two shots left before Sampson stormed home to snatch victory.

Earlier in the championship, Sampson defeated Rossiter to win gold in the first men’s 10m Air Pistol final last Saturday before pipping Hoberg by a mere 0.1 points with his final shot to claim the second men’s 10m Air Pistol final last Sunday.

While delighted to be undefeated after the championship, Sampson believes he has yet to reach his best form.

“My scores could definitely be better. I’ve got plenty of work to do until the next event and make sure that I am well ahead of the others,” said Sampson.

In the women’s 3 Positions nomination event, Wollongong’s Maria Rebling bounced back after a disappointing qualifying event to win the gold medal.

Qualifying in fourth position, Rebling (434.4 points) maintained her composure in the closing stages of a tense final to defeat the South Australian pair of Emma Adams (431.9) and Katarina Kowplos (419.4).

Adams excelled in the kneeling section to open a 3.1 point lead over Rebling but slipped to be in third position behind Rebling and Kowplos after the prone.

Adams charged into contention with successive scores of 10.8 in standing but lapsed with a 9.1 while Rebling shot a score of 10.6 to retake control.

Despite her victory, Rebling lies in third position in the race for Olympic Games nomination after making a critical mistake in the qualifying round.

At the beginning of the prone qualifying section, Rebling thought she was in shooting mode but was in fact in sighting mode.

“Instead of pushing the red button, I pushed the green button and I thought I had started the match. I fired a 99 and I thought I was doing really well. It was a mistake I’ve not done before,” she said.

The rifle athletes will return to Adelaide on February 28 for the next stage of nomination events.

Queensland’s double Olympian, Dane Sampson, pulled off two miraculous final shots to claim his second successive gold medal in the men’s 10m Air Rifle final at the Olympic Games nomination trials at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

In a dramatic finish, Sampson trailed 18-year-old South Australian Alex Hoberg by 1.6 points with two shots remaining.

Sampson, who represented Australia at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, held his nerve to fire off two near-perfect scores of 10.8 while Hoberg could only manage scores of 10.1 and 9.8 – his only score below 10 in the final.

With the difference between the pair 0.9 going into the final shot, Hoberg fired first and grimaced in frustration knowing his score of 9.8 had left the door open to Sampson.

When Sampson leap-frogged him with his second score of 10.8, Hoberg threw his head back in despair as he knew Sampson had claimed the gold medal by a mere 0.1 point.

Sampson finished with 250.3 points ahead of Hoberg (250.2) while Jack Rossiter (228.0) claimed the bronze medal.

“I knew I was behind going into the final series and that I needed two good shots to have a chance. It’s not over until the final shot is fired and that’s how it panned out,” said Sampson.

A disappointed Hoberg said; “I told myself to shoot some 10’s and you will be fine. By saying that, and not saying shoot some 10.9’s, I lost my drive and motivation.”

Earlier, Sampson shot an improved qualifying score compared to the first Olympic nomination event yesterday and leads the men’s 10m Air Rifle nomination table by a slender two points.

With event qualifying scores counting in the race for Olympic selection, Sampson leads the points table with 1270.7 points ahead of Hoberg (1268.7) and Rossiter (1267.7).

“Generally, I’m happy today but I know that I am capable of more,” said Sampson.

Jack Rossiter’s younger sister, Tori, bounced back after her silver medal yesterday to claim gold in the second women’s 10m Air Rifle nomination event today.

Going into the final as the second highest ranked athlete, Rossiter was a model of consistency to score 248.8 points to defeat Wollongong’s Maria Rebling (246.1) and Katrina Kowplos (223.3).

“Yesterday, I felt a bit nervous going into the first of four competitions, and today I think I learned from that experience,” said Rossiter.

“I handled the mental side of my preparation a bit better and Petr (coach Petr Kurka) helped me with a few technical points as well.”

After claiming the gold medal, Rossiter (1262.5) has opened a handy 4.7 point lead over Victoria’s Elise Collier (1257.8) and Kowplos (1251.6).

“I’m not focusing on where everyone else is placed because you can get caught up with that. I’m glad the first two competitions are over, and I’m in a good position at the moment,” added Rossiter.

The first men’s and women’s 50m 3 Positions Olympic nomination trial will be held at the Wingfield Range on Tuesday.

South Australian teenager Katarina Kowplos has thrown down the gauntlet to her more celebrated rivals when winning the first women’s 10m Air Rifle Olympic Games nomination trial at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

Kowplos, who turned 18 last October, upstaged 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games representatives, Tori Rossiter and Emma Adams, after qualifying for the final in third position.

Kowplos shot consistently throughout the final to amass 249.3 points to defeat Rossiter (246.7) by 2.6 points with Adelaide local Holly Robinson (225.4 points) claiming the bronze medal. Adams was relegated to fourth position.

In a world class display, the Golden Grove High School student shot five scores of 10.8 and two perfect scores of 10.9.

“My practice has been really good over the last few months and today was a nice achievement. I was disappointed in my qualifying score, which was three or four points off my average, but I put in an extra effort in the final,” said Kowplos.

With the second of four Olympic nomination events to be held tomorrow, Kowplos was preparing for the next qualifying round by completing her physics and chemistry homework.

“The physics topic I am studying at the moment is projectile motion and the example being used is air rifle pellets, so that is right up my alley,” she added.

While Kowplos earned the gold medal kudos in the final, Rossiter took the lead in the Olympic nomination trial scoreboard after topping the morning qualifying scores.

Rossiter leads with 629.4 points ahead of Kowplos (626.5), Victoria’s Elise Collier (624.0) and Adams (621.5).

In the first men’s 10m Air Rifle nomination final, double Olympian Dane Sampson showed his class to upstage Jack Rossiter and Alex Hoberg, who topped the morning qualifying round with a junior Australian record score.

Sampson, who qualified second for the final, managed a score of 250.5 to be 2.5 points clear of Rossiter (248.0) with Hoberg (227.0) placed third.

“My qualifying score was lower than my average and the final was solid in general,” said Sampson.

Today’s event was the first of four Olympic nomination events for men’s and women’s rifle athletes who are eligible for Olympic selection after previously registering Minimum Quota Scores.

Athletes can drop their worse qualifying score in the race for Olympic team nomination and Sampson is hoping today’s qualifying score of 625.9 will be his lowest score.

“There are three more nomination events so hopefully I will be able to drop today’s score,” he said.

Despite being placed third, Hoberg currently tops the men’s 10m Air Rifle scoreboard with 635.2 points ahead of Sampson (633.9) and Rossiter (632.4).

Queensland’s Dane Sampson is aiming for an Olympic Games three-peat when the first Tokyo Olympic Games nomination trials for rifle athletes is conducted at Wingfield Rifle Club in Adelaide between February 15-18.

The trials will see two nomination events for men’s and women’s 10m Air Rifle next Saturday and Sunday followed by the first nomination event for men’s and women’s 50m 3 Positions on Tuesday.

Only athletes who have previously recorded Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) are eligible to be nominated for Australian Olympic team selection.

Sampson attended the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games and also the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle.

Adelaide’s Jack Rossiter will be looking to make it a family affair when he attempts to win Tokyo Games selection.

Rossiter was a member of the Australian Olympic Team in Rio and his younger sister Tori is a strong Games candidate in the women’s 10m Air Rifle after winning the Oceania Championship in Sydney last November.

There is an added selection attraction for the Rossiter siblings as the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams event will be conducted at the Tokyo Olympics for the first time.

The Rossiters, Sampson and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games representatives, Emma Adams and Alex Hoberg, competed in Sweden, Germany and Austria last month in preparation for the nomination trials.

At the Meyton Cup in Austria, Hoberg won gold in the 10m Air Rifle junior event and Dane Sampson captured silver in the senior 10m Air Rifle.

In the 10m Air Rifle Mixed final, the Rossiters teamed up to take the gold medal, whilst in the Junior Mixed final, Tori Rossiter and Hoberg captured the bronze medal.

Shooting Australia Rifle National Coach Petr Kurka was pleased with the performances in Europe.

“These athletes are now ready to perform at a high level,” said Kurka.

The remaining rifle Olympic nomination events will be held at Wingfield Rifle Club on February 29-March 3, before the final trial for all shooting disciplines is held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre between March 18-22.

Athletes best three event qualification scores from the four nomination events are counted towards final nomination rankings. At the end of the four nomination events, athletes will be nominated by selectors for the Tokyo Olympics to the Australian Olympic Committee.

Rifle athletes with MQS’s who are eligible for Olympic selection are;

Women: Emma Adams (SA), Elise Collier (Vic), Katarina Kowplos (SA), Maria Rebling (NSW), Tori Rossiter (SA), Emma Woodroofe (SA).

Men: Michael Davis (SA), Michael Nicholas (SA), Alex Hoberg (SA), Jack Rossiter (SA), Dane Sampson (QLD)

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications

NSW’s James Willett and Queensland’s Paul Adams have positioned themselves to win back-to-back Olympic Games selection in men’s trap and men’s skeet respectively after the first two of four nomination events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Both Willett (248 points) and Adams (246 points) were members of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games team and have opened handy leads after the Commonwealth and National titles at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club last week.

Laura Coles (234 points) holds a three point lead over Victoria’s 2016 Olympian Aislin Jones (231) in the women’s skeet, while another Victorian Penny Smith (239) is eight points clear of 2016 Olympic trap finalist, Laetisha Scanlan (231).

Only athletes who have previously recorded Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) are eligible to be nominated for Olympic team selection.

The remaining nomination events for trap and skeet athletes are the Yarra Valley Open (February 27-March 1) and Shooting Australia Open (March 18-22). Athletes will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) for selection after these events.

While athletes register scores in qualifying at each of the four events, only the best three qualifying scores (and any finals points attached to those performances) will count towards their nomination rankings.

“The Olympic nomination process rewards consistently strong performances in both qualification and finals across the four events. However, an athlete’s worst result based on qualifying score only will be disregarded,” said National Performance Director, Adam Sachs.

At the end of the nomination events, a panel of selectors will meet to determine which athletes will be nominated to the AOC for selection in accordance with Shooting’s Olympic Nomination Criteria.

“As part of these deliberations, the panel will consider whether or not it will exercise its right to change a maximum of one quota place in one event for one quota place in an any other event within the same gender,” said Sachs.

“We may exercise this right if we believe the change is likely to improve the chances of Shooting and the Australian Olympic team winning a medal in Tokyo,” he added.

The next Olympic qualifying event is for male and female rifle athletes who will contest the Adelaide Cup between February 15-18.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications

NSW’s James Willett prevented a double raid by international shooting athletes in the National trap finals when he overcame a poor qualification score to capture victory at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club today.

Willett was the lowest ranked finalist but emerged victorious when scoring 45/50 to defeat Italy’s Angelo Scalzone (44/50) with NSW’s Thomas Grice (34/40) taking the bronze.

Earlier, New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney (39/50) also climbed from qualifying sixth to win the women’s trap final with Victorians Laetisha Scanlan (35/50) and Alexis Preston (27/40) the other placegetters.

Willett said he erred by wearing a darker pair of glasses when shooting 45/50 in the second qualifying round in the morning.

“I chose the wrong pair of glasses for the conditions and it was a bad round for me. I had to keep myself in front with the big number six qualifying number on my back,” said Willett.

“It’s one of the hardest venues to shoot at and I think the scores during the week reflected the difficulty,” he added.

Willett (242 points) has opened a four point lead in the race for Tokyo Olympic Games selection over Grice (238) with Victoria’s Mitch Iles (234) in third position.

Rooney was beaten by Australia’s Catherine Skinner in the gold medal shoot-off to at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and was then placed seventh behind Scanlan at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

But today Rooney overcame the light rain and dim light conditions to finally upstage her Trans-Tasman rivals.

Victoria’s Penny Smith shot another exceptional qualifying score of 115/125 but was unable to re-produce that form in the final where she was placed fourth.

Smith performed outstandingly in qualifying for the Commonwealth title earlier in the week and leads the race for Tokyo Olympic Games selection with 239 points, ahead of Scanlan (231) and Skinner (223).

Smith said the varying weather conditions this week made shooting difficult.

“It was a tough week all round. There were trying hot condition at the beginning of the week, torrential rain yesterday and misty rain today. But you got to do the best you can,” said Smith.

“But it’s been a good week for me. I definitely shot better in qualifying events than in the finals.

“I didn’t finish the week with any blue sashes or gold medals, but I was really happy to have qualifying scores of 116 and 115,” she added.

Smith said Rooney’s victory will give the Kiwi a boost ahead of the Tokyo Games.

“Nat is a great athlete but has struggled in recent times. But it was great to see her bounce back in her journey towards the Olympics and congratulations to her on her win today,” said Smith.

To win selection for the Tokyo Olympics, the three best scores from four selection events by athletes who have previously registered Minimum Quota Scores (MQS) will be considered.

Australia has two Olympic quota positions in men’s and women’s trap. The next Olympic trap and skeet selection event starts on February 27 at the Melbourne Gun Club.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications