Victoria’s Penny Smith produced a world class personal best score to win the last women’s trap event when the Tokyo Olympic Games nomination series concluded at the Sydney International Shooting Centre today.

Smith blasted a personal best 47 from 50 targets to defeat Victorians Laetisha Scanlan (46) and Catherine Skinner (31).

See at https://epicentre.tv/video?channel=sa-open-trap-finals-women

Smith performed magnificently in all four qualifying rounds, but a gold medal victory had eluded her until today.

Smith was shooting a perfect round until the 34th target, and her final score of 47, if repeated at the Olympic Games, would be more than good enough to put her on the podium.

Laetisha Scanlan, a 2016 Rio Olympian and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist, also shot magnificently in the final despite a season low 111 from 125 targets in qualifying.

Defending Olympic champion, Catherine Skinner, shot 115 targets in qualifying and placed 3rd in the final to elevate her to second position on the Olympic nomination scoreboard, twelve points behind Smith and just four points ahead of Scanlan after four events.

Smith’s highly consistent performance throughout the nomination series was a tribute to her resilience after overcoming narrowly missing selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Missing Commonwealth Games selection was a big disappointment. But some things like that make you a better athlete and a better person,” she said.

Smith, from Bookaar in western Victoria, said the nomination series was an exhaustive process.

“It’s been a long journey,” she said.

“I just put everything on the line today, gave it heaps and I came out on top. I couldn’t think of a better way to finish,” she added.

In the men’s trap, Victoria’s Mitch Iles and NSW’s Tom Grice both shot 119 of 125 targets in qualification, with Iles going on to win the final.

See at https://epicentre.tv/video?channel=sa-open-trap-finals-men

Grice’s performance at this weekend’s event was enough to secure him second place on the Olympic nomination scoreboard just one point ahead of Iles. Fellow NSW athlete, James Willett, finished on top of the scoreboard 6 targets ahead of Grice.

The Australian selectors across all shooting disciplines will meet this week to determine which athletes will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the Tokyo team.

 

Further information
Greg Campbell
PRISM Strategic Communications
PH: 0418 239 139


Western Australia’s Laura Coles is destined to win Australia’s single women’s skeet quota position for the Tokyo Olympic Games despite finishing third in the last nomination event at the Sydney International Shooting Centre today.

Going into the fourth and final skeet event of the nomination series, Coles trailed 2016 Rio Olympian, Aislin Jones, by one point on the nomination scoreboard.

However, Coles shot a qualifying score of 114 from 125 targets – eight points higher than Jones’ 106 – her lowest qualifying total of the series.

Jones pushed aside her disappointment to win the final hitting 51 of 60 targets ahead of Victoria’s Brittany Melbourne (47) and Coles (38).

“I’m really, really happy,” said Coles.

Coles said the qualifying series was nerve-racking experience.

“I was fighting myself to keep relaxed. When the pressure was on, I focused on my breathing and keeping everything loose. It was all about keeping a calm body and a calm mind,” said Coles.

In the men’s skeet final, Victoria’s Luke Argiro overcame a slow start to win the decider and give himself an outside chance of Olympic team selection if the selectors opt to move a team quota.

Australia has only one men’s skeet quota for the Tokyo Olympics and Queensland’s Paul Adams is destined to secure that position after winning all three previous skeet nomination events.

However, the selectors have the option to move a quota position within the same gender and Argiro tallied 52 targets in the final to defeat 2016 Rio Olympian, Keith Ferguson (50) with NSW James Bolding (42) in third place.

“I got away to a shaky start but I’m glad I pushed through. It was good to finish on a good note,” said Argiro.

On the possibility the selectors could move a quota and include him in the team, Argiro said: “That’s something that’s out of my hands. All I could do is shoot well and win today and I’ll leave the rest up to the selectors.”

In the women’s 25m Pistol, 2016 Rio Olympian Elena Galiabovitch completed a clean sweep of the nomination trials with another comfortable victory.

Galiabovitch scored 31 points out of a possible 50 with Queensland’s Civon Smith (23) and NSW’s Dannielle Moleman (16) the runners-up.


NSW’s Dan Repacholi was staring down the gun barrel of missing selection for a fifth Olympic Games before recovering to win the men’s 10m Air Pistol in the last Tokyo Games nomination event at the Sydney International Shooting Centre today.

The big, burly athlete from NSW’s Hunter Valley faced the prospect of being the first athlete eliminated in the nomination event final after the first 10 of 24 shots, while his Olympic team selection rival, Bailey Groves, topped the early scoring chart.

But in a stunning form reversal, Repacholi slowly climbed up the scoreboard while Groves capitulated and was placed fourth.

Repacholi eventually scored 235.1 points to comfortably defeat Western Australia’s Scott Anderson (227.9) and Victoria’s Sergei Evglevski (210.9).

“I knew what Bailey had to do and I knew what I had to do. I knew that if I didn’t finish last, then everything will be ok,” said Repacholi.

“If Bailey won and I finished last, then we would have been tied on the nomination scoreboard,” he said.

Repacholi lamented how he began the final and said he was concentrating more on Groves’ performance than his own.

“I started horrendously. My first 10 shots were terrible. I then stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing and just focused on one shot at a time,” he said.

Repacholi said he will use the time between now and the Games, scheduled for July, focusing on the mental aspects of his shooting.

“Physically, I know I can shoot tens every time, but I need to work on my mental capability,” he explained.

In the women’s 10m Air Pistol final, Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch secured her second event victory in the nomination series.

Galiabovitch trailed Queensland’s Dina Aspandiyarova by 0.9 points with two shots remaining but stormed over the top to eventually tally 235.5 points to defeat Aspandiyarova (233.1) with NSW’s Dannielle Moleman (210.7) placed third.

Despite being placed second, Aspandiyarova seems certain to claim Australia’s Olympic quota position for the event as she topped the event nomination table by 21 points.

It will be Aspandiyarova’s fourth Olympic Games having represented Australia at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for her native Kazakhstan.


Victoria’s Elise Collier is on the cusp of Tokyo Olympic Games selection after producing a sensational performance in the women’s 10m Air Rifle at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

Collier, who was ranked second behind South Australia’s Tori Rossiter, going into today’s final Olympic Games nomination event, produced the best qualifying score of the season before blowing her opponents away with a brilliant display in the final.

In the final, Collier posted a personal best score of 253.6 to comfortably defeat South Australia’s Emma Adams (247.5) and Rossiter (225.8).

Collier’s qualifying score of 629.2 was a mere 0.1 point behind her personal best, while Rossiter managed 623.9 points.

With shooters’ best three scores from the four nomination events counting towards Olympic team nomination, Collier ended the qualification series with a total of 1902.7 points, 2.8 points ahead of Rossiter (1899.1 points).

“I was very happy with how I performed today. I didn’t put any expectations on myself. I just went out to do the best that I can,” a delighted Collier said.

“When you’re on, you’re on.”

Collier, 20, was the beneficiary of the Olympic Games nomination policy as she suffered rifle problems leading into the first event where she registered a qualifying score of 622 and was the second athlete eliminated in the final.

“I had a lot of issues with my rifle. You name it, I had it. When we fired it off a bench in a vice, it was shooting eights, but we finally manage to fix it in time” she explained.

While Collier waits for the announcement of the Australian Olympic shooting team, she will return home and head to the Gippsland district to selflessly assist friends who suffered devastation during the recent bushfires.

“We’ve had friends and families lose properties, and some friends lost their lives, during the recent bushfires. So, dad and I will head down there to help out and do whatever we can,” she said.

In the men’s 10m Air Rifle, South Australia’s Alex Hoberg capped off a perfect last nomination event when capturing his second event gold medal in successive days to stake a strong claim to be awarded Australia’s second quota position for the event.

It was Hoberg’s first 10m Air Rifle victory of the nomination series and came 24 hours after capturing the men 50m 3 Positions gold medal.

Hoberg, once again, held his nerve with the final shot to tally 251.1 points to defeat Queensland’s dual Olympian Dane Sampson (249.8) and Victoria’s Michael Davis (226.8).

Despite his loss, Sampson topped the nomination scoreboard with 1908.2 points, with Hoberg (1903.9) a healthy 7.5 points ahead of third placed, Jack Rossiter (1896.4).


Just when he thought victory was going to continue to escape him, South Australia’s Alex Hoberg produced a giant upset to win the men’s 50m 3 Positions shooting final in the last Tokyo Olympic Games nomination event at the Wingfield Rifle Range today.

Hoberg, a 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games representative, held his nerve with the final shot to tally 453.4 points to defeat fellow South Australian Jack Rossiter (450.7) and dual Olympian Dane Sampson (442.8).

With two shots remaining, only 0.4 points separate the trio with third-placed Hoberg looking at early elimination.

Sampson, who led Rossiter by a mere 0.1 of a point, fired a solid 10.2 but was eliminated after Hoberg scored a perfect 10.9 and Rossiter managed a 10.5.

Then with the final shot, Rossiter could only manage a score of 7.7, his worst result of the series, and Hoberg eventually claimed a 2.7 point victory when firing a score of 10.3.

“It’s about time I got a first placing,” said a relieved Hoberg.

“I’ve had five second placings, so it was very pleasing to finally come away with a win,” he said.

Hoberg, 18, knew he required a near perfect score with two shots remaining to move through to the gold medal round.

“At the back of my mind I knew that I had to pull something big out. When I fired, I thought it could be a 10.7 or 10.8, and I had a big smile on my face when I looked down at the scoreboard and saw it was a 10.9,” he said.

Hoberg said he called on the experience gained from his recent close losses with the final shot.

“I’ve been placed first or second going into the last shot and I cracked under pressure, but I managed to hold it together today,” he said.

“I knew if I shot a 10, I would more than likely win because everyone is nervous with the last shot,” he said.

Hoberg will return to the range tomorrow in an attempt to secure Australia’s second Olympic Games quota position in the 10m Air Rifle.

Sampson seems certain to win one of the two positions and the second place looms as a battle between Hoberg and Rossiter.

“Tomorrow is a different day, a different competition, a different gun and a different distance and today’s win won’t have any bearing on what happens,” said Hoberg.

In the women’s 50m 3 Positions final, Emma Adams snared her third successive nomination finals victory when defeating fellow South Australian, Katarina Kowplos, in the decider where the lead changed continuously throughout.

The result came down to the last shot with Adams (437.3) firing a 9.6 compared to Kowplos’ (436.8) score of 8.5 to win by a mere 0.5 of a point.

Despite the hat-trick of nomination finals wins, Kowplos’ solid qualifying scores sees her hold the advantage over Adams on the Tokyo Games nomination scoreboard.

One athlete who doesn’t need to be concerned with the nomination scoreboard is Victoria’s Sergei Evglevski who completed a clean sweep in the last Men’s 25m Rapid Fire event at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.

Evglevski shot impressively, including two perfect flights of five points, to register 33 points from 40 shots to defeat ACT’s Thomas Ashmore (22) and Western Australia’s Scott Anderson (15).


Shooting Australia today announced it has cancelled the Shooting Australia Open, scheduled for the
Sydney International Shooting Centre at Cecil Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to mitigate risks
associated with COVID-19.

The Shooting Australia Open will be replaced by events exclusive to athletes who have previously
registered Tokyo Olympic Games Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) in pistol, rifle and shotgun
disciplines and who are eligible for Australian Olympic Shooting Team selection.

The replacement events will be the fourth and final Tokyo Olympic Games nomination events.
Rifle events will be held at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide on Friday and Saturday, while pistol
and shotgun events will be held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday. Event times are to be advised.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen, said the decision was taken after a special
Shooting Australia Event Reference Group (SAERG) conferred with the NSW Government, NSW
Office of Sport, the Australian Olympic Committee, Australian Institute of Sport, medical experts,
member organisations and other key stakeholders.

Mr van Kempen said MQS athletes had been consulted earlier this week via their respective shooting
discipline head coaches and feedback was presented to a Shooting Australia Board meeting held
today.

“SAERG members have been discussing the impacts of staging the Shooting Australia Open, in its
originally planned format, with key parties for several days,” said Mr van Kempen.
“First and foremost, Shooting Australia’s chief priority is the health of athletes, officials and
members of the community.

“Even though we estimated the number of attendees at the Shooting Australia Open would be
around 371 people, which is below the 500 people event threshold set by the Federal Government,
we believed it would be irresponsible to proceed with the event as originally planned,” he said.

“Instead, Shooting Australia will conduct closed Olympic nomination events for the 54 eligible
athletes, across all shooting disciplines, who have previously registered an MQS,” he added.

“Pistol and rifle are the only disciplines that are held indoors. The total number of attendees,
including athletes, officials and venue staff for these two separate events in two separate cities,
would be up to 35 people for each event. This is well within the Federal Government’s threshold of
100 people for an indoor event,” he said.

He added; “Our sport is one that can be undertaken while maintaining a safe social distance from
other competitors and officials. A number of guidelines will be implemented to allow for this
practice, and all athletes and officials will be well educated on these matters prior to their respective
events.”

Mr van Kempen said the new events will allow the Olympic nomination series to be completed on
schedule and provide athletes with the best available preparation time leading into the Tokyo
Olympic Games.

Mr van Kempen said Shooting Australia had already factored the likelihood that not all MQS athletes
would participate in the final nomination event before the Government thresholds were announced.

“As stated in our 2020 Olympic Games Nomination Criteria, athletes best three qualifying scores
from the four nomination events will be considered by the selectors,” he said.

“With three events concluded, we anticipated weeks ago there will be MQS athletes who will elect
not to attend the final nomination event because of their ranking on the qualification scoreboard.

“If there is any MQS athlete who does not wish to compete this week, there is, as outlined under
Extenuating Circumstances in the Nomination Criteria, provision for the selectors to consider an
athlete’s non-attendance when it comes to nominating athletes to the AOC for Olympic team
selection,” he added.

Shooting Australia will provide the AOC with the names of nominated athletes on March 29.
The Australian Olympic Shooting team is scheduled to be announced by the AOC on March 31.

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


Shooting Australia has been advised the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 shooting test event scheduled for April 16-26 has been cancelled because of the ongoing concerns regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Shooting has not been the only Olympic event affected by pre-games Test event cancellations and Shooting Australia said it supports and understands the decision.

“The health of athletes and global communities is the number one priority,” said Shooting Australia High Performance Director, Adam Sachs.

“The cancellation affects all nations equally,” he said.

“It is the right call by Tokyo Games organisers to ensure that all nations will be on the same fair and equal footing come Games time. No country will be advantaged by competing at the shooting range prior to the Olympics,” he added.

Mr Sachs said Shooting Australia is now revising its pre-Games preparations, including off-shore competitions.

“In consultation with our coaches, we are now examining a range of options and we aim to finalise these plans as soon as possible in the best interests of our team members,” he added.

Mr Sachs said Australia was in the fortunate position to have athlete quotas for the Tokyo Olympic Games confirmed last year.

“We know we have 15 quota positions available across the shotgun, pistol and rifle disciplines and we are currently conducting nomination events to determine athlete selections,” he said.

Three of the four nomination events in all disciplines have been completed and the remaining nomination event will be held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre between March 20-22.

The Australian Olympic shooting team is scheduled to be announced on March 31.

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


Bailey Groves and Dan Repacholi will head to a Tokyo Olympic Games 10m Air Pistol selection showdown later this month after Groves claimed a vital last shot gold medal victory at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre today.

Groves, originally from Launceston but now living and working in Perth, trailed Repacholi by 0.9 points going into the final shot and fired a score of 10.2.

Repacholi followed and faltered with a score of 9.2 to hand Groves the win by 0.1 points.

Going into the last Olympic nomination event in Sydney later this month, Repacholi (1730 points) holds a slender seven-point lead over Groves (1723) in the battle to claim Australia’s single Games event quota position.

With qualifying results contributing to the final Tokyo nomination selection scoreboard, Groves was the highest qualifier for the final – claiming a valuable four points over Repacholi.

After the first 10 shots into the final, Repacholi held a healthy 2.1 point lead, but Groves gradually pegged back the lead to be only 0.6 points behind with two shots remaining.

Repacholi extended the margin to 0.9 when scoring a 10.1 to Groves’ 9.8. But Groves held his nerves to claim a memorable victory.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said a delighted Groves.

“I wasn’t watching the leaderboard at all throughout the final, so I had no idea what the (scoring) splits were. I only knew what I was shooting,” he said.

“When I shot my 9.8, and everyone clapped when Daniel shot, I thought that might be it. But I stayed strong for that last shot and wanted to do the best I could do, and I pulled through in the end.

“I shot first and did a 10.2 and I thought, that was respectful, and I had no idea what he had done.

“I didn’t watch his gun, didn’t watch his target. I just waited until he finished shooting and then looked at the leaderboard and saw I was on top,” he added.

While the men’s 10m Air Pistol remains undecided, Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch will be headed to her second Olympic Games after a third successive victory in the women’s 25m Pistol.

The Oakleigh Pistol Club representative, who attended the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, hit 28 of 50 targets in the final to defeat South Australia’s Alison Heinrich (20) and NSW’s Dannielle Moleman (14).

Following today’s event, Galiabovitch has an unassailable lead in the race for Tokyo selection having amassed 1157 points, well ahead of her quota position rivals, NSW’s Dannielle Moleman (1696) and South Australia’s Alison Heinrich (1694).

“I’m very happy with the win. I’ve been working really hard, so excitement is fighting with fatigue right now,” said Galiabovitch.

“I’m pretty keen to get to Tokyo to see what it’s like,” he added.


Sporting a pair of new lucky pink socks, NSW’s Dan Repacholi strengthened his claims for a fifth Olympics after winning the men’s 10m Air Pistol in the Tokyo Olympic Games nomination event at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre today.

After a sluggish start, Repacholi fired a final score of 236.7 points to defeat Victoria’s Sergei Evglevski (233.2) and NSW’s Damien Dowling (212.7).

Western Australia’s Bailey Groves, the only other athlete to register a Minimum Quota Score to be eligible for Australian Olympic team selection in the event, qualified second for the final with a score of 574 – one point behind Repacholi – but lost further ground on the Tokyo nomination scoreboard when finishing fourth in the final.

While pleased to record his second nomination event victory, Repacholi acknowledge there is room for improvement.

“In the first event, the score was a little lower and this event the score was a little bit higher. There’s still a lot more improvement to go,” said Repacholi.

“The final in the first one was good, the final in this one needs a little more work. But it’s all going in the right direction. Two wins, you can’t ask for anything better.

“There’s another event tomorrow and I’ll come and do what I need to do and hopefully walk away with another win,” he added.

The bearded 2.06 metre giant presented an interesting figure competing in pink socks, which were a Christmas gift from his two daughters, instead of his long-used rainbow coloured socks.

“They’re the bosses between all three of them. I’m just a little bystander who sits in the corner,” he grinned.

Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch didn’t require any lucky charms or magic potions when outclassing the field in the women’s 25m Pistol.

The Melbourne doctor had the right medicine tally 31 points out of a possible 50 to defeat Queensland’s Civon Smith (25) and South Australia’s Alison Heinrich (22 points).

With two nomination events remaining, Galiabovitch has opened a healthy 46 point lead in the Tokyo selection event scoreboard over NSW’s Danielle Moleman and South Australia’s Alison Heinrich who are both on 1130 points.

Despite her lead, Galiabovitch says she isn’t calculating the nomination scoreboard.

“I’m not falling into the trap of thinking about the points. I just need to focus on myself,” she said.

The third of four men’s 10m Air Pistol and the women’s 25m Pistol events will be held tomorrow.


Dina Aspandiyarova is destined to contest her fourth Olympic Games after shooting a season-high qualifying score on the way to winning the woman’s 10m Air Pistol Tokyo Olympic Games nomination event at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre today.

Competing in hot and humid conditions, Aspandiyarova excelled to be the top qualifier for the final when recording 575 out of 600 points – a score which could have been higher except for a sixth and final series of 91 points out of 100.

In the final, the Queenslander shot consistently to tally 235.3 points to comfortably defeat Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch (231.0) by 4.3 points with Queensland’s Civon Smith (210.9) claiming the bronze medal.

Aspandiyarova’s Olympic journey commenced when representing her native Kazakhstan at the Sydney 2000 Olympics before settling in Australia with her husband, former Australian pistol coach, Anatoly Babushkin.

Aspandiyarova became an Australian citizen in 2005 and represented her adopted country at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games before winning selection at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games.

With one 10m Air Pistol nomination event remaining and with only one event quota position available, Aspandiyarova leads the nomination scoreboard with 1735 points, 29 points ahead of Galiabovitch (1706) with Smith (1694) in third position.

However, Aspandiyarova says she is not focusing on the Tokyo Games nomination scoreboard.

“It’s not about where I’m sitting on the table. For me, it’s about learning and getting the most important things out of each match, how I can improve and implement them in the next match,” said Aspandiyarova.

Aspandiyarova seems certain to be joined on the plane trip to Tokyo by Victoria’s Sergei Evglevski after he claimed gold in the third men’s 25m Rapid Fire pistol nomination event.

Evglevski posted a qualifying score of 580 from a possible 600 points and shot 30 points out of 40 points, including three perfect flights of five points in the final, to outclass ACT’s Thomas Ashmore (19) and WA’s Scott Anderson (13).

With one event quota position available, Evglevski (1763 points) holds a commanding 55-point lead over Anderson (1708) and ACT’s Thomas Ashmore (1705) in the race for Tokyo selection.

Evglevski’s mother, Lalita Yauhleuskaya, 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. E

Like Aspandiyarova, 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 while Evglevski’s father, Sergei Evglevski Snr., was the gunsmith for the Australian team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and on the Australian team coaching staff for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Despite his solid performance today, Evglevski wasn’t satisfied.

“I felt today wasn’t as rewarding as past competitions. I made a couple of mistakes that shouldn’t have been there,” admitted Evglevski.

“The final was a bit tricky. I think the humidity really got to me because the gripping was hard, my triggering wasn’t very good and I had a lot of shots that were close but weren’t hits and that really put me off a bit,” he added.

The final women’s 10m Air Pistol and men’s 25m Rapid Fire qualification events will be held in Sydney later this month.