Queensland’s Paul Adams is used to pressure as a surgical theatre nurse, and he held a steady hand to complete a clean sweep of the first two men’s skeet Olympic qualifying events at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club today.
After winning the Commonwealth title earlier in the week, Adams continued his excellent form when clinching victory in the National final today.
Adams, who attended the 2016 Rio Olympics, stamped his authority from the outset and hit 53 of 60 targets to defeat Victoria’s Luke Argiro (48 targets) with NSW’s Joshua Bell (41 targets) placed third.
Adams’ victory today completed a hat-trick of major titles having won the Oceania title last November.
With two of the four Olympic skeet qualifying events completed, Adams has amassed 246 points to take a healthy nine point lead over Bell (238 points), with Argiro (237) and NSW’s Frank Morris (237) in equal third positson.
“It’s been a fantastic week and I’m very pleased to have completed my first ever clean sweep,” said Adams.
“It’s great to have opened up an eight point lead for Olympic selection. As soon as I fired my last shot in Rio, I wanted to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
“This week has been an important part of the process for Tokyo selection and I will rest up and prepare for the next qualifying event next month,” he added.
In the women’s National final, Victoria’s Aislin Jones bounced back after winning the Commonwealth title silver medal earlier in the week to shoot three perfect rounds when snaring the gold ahead of rival, Laura Coles from Western Australia.
Jones, who won selection at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a 16-year old, set a high standard when qualifying as the top ranked shooter and she maintained her world class performance in the final.
Jones, who is coached by Olympian Lauryn Mark, downed 55 of 60 targets to comfortably defeat Coles (50 targets) with New Zealand’s Oceania champion, Chloe Tipple (41 targets), taking home the bronze medal.
In the battle for Olympic selection, Coles (234 points) and Jones (231 points) are set for a nail-biting tussle for the single women’s skeet Australian team berth, with Queensland’s Cherie Reeves (220 points) trailing well behind.
“It was a good final. The light rain made the conditions interesting and I was very happy to come away with the win,” said Jones.
The skeet shooters will enjoy a month’s break before contesting the next Olympic Games qualifying event at the Yarra Valley Grand Prix held at the Melbourne Gun Club commencing on February 27.