National Volunteers Week is an opportunity for us to celebrate the hard working and generous people who contribute so much to the sport, the ones who show up just once or every single time, the ones who are truly the backbone of ISSF shooting within Australia.

Volunteering Australia has chosen this years theme of ‘Changing communities. Changing lives’ with the understanding that so many events have been lost or postponed due to COVID-19, and there isn’t a greater opportunity than now to look within our own communities to contribute the same passion and enthusiasm we would have at these other events.

We have so many volunteers that give so much of their time, energy and resources to our sport, and for that we thank you.

If you want to get involved in future competitions and events please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, you can fill out an expression of interest here


A memory from Ray McCready

It is almost sixty years since I took up competitive shooting with the Ararat Fullbore and Smallbore Rifle Clubs. Over that time I have travelled widely to competitions world wide as either as a spectator, competitor, team official or event official. I began officiating quite early in my career and have enjoyed doing it. There have many memorable ones but the one I enjoyed the most, despite some of the things we had to contend with was the 2005 Deaflympic Games.

Melbourne had won the right to host the event and they were scheduled to start in the first week of January 2005. Shooting events were to be conducted at the Melbourne International Shooting Club (MISC).  MISC facilities had only just been upgraded for the coming Commonwealth Shooting Championships and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Part of the upgrade was the installation of 40 electronic targets on the 50 metre range. John Gillman from pistol was appointed Event Manager and I became the Chief Range Officer.

The Governing body decreed that the ranges must conform to ISSF regulations and events must be conducted totally to ISSF rules including finals. That became our first problem, how do you run a final when competitors cannot hear your calls? We were provided with a simple light system which was “red” you don’t shoot and “green” you do.  Some of the officials got their heads  together  and devised a system based of coloured and flickering lights. This was manufactured in Adelaide and received in time for the Games. Apparently the International body were so impressed with the system they took it with them after the Games were over.

Second problem was dust. There had been grass seed planted on the range  and was being watered to get a cover before the Commonwealth Championships . However being the middle of summer and having hot days the ground dried out quickly and when any wind blew it stirred up the dust. We were forced to sweep the firing point every 2 or three hours to keep it reasonable clean. The competitors acknowledged the problem and were very

In our instructions from the International body, the ranges had to comply with ISSF rules, in case any World Records were set. During the air rifle match two new records were achieved. One was set in the qualification round and the second in the combined qualification and finals score.  Having Tibor Gonzol as a club member made it easy to verify that the range met ISSF requirements. From memory most of the range officials were all ISSF qualified judges so that made things simple. I have always maintained that the amount of paperwork I had to fill out and sign for the competitor to claim the records took longer to do than the actual match.  Probably didn’t but it seemed like it.

During a practice day I was talking to a German team official. From what he told me they were a little apprehensive of how the event would be run. According to him the last two events in Europe had been shambles hence the nervousness.  It was during this time we introduced the new lighting system to the teams. First we produced a sheet in English explaining how the lights worked, laminated it and gave each team manager a number of copies.  Next, with the help of a person who could do sign language, we called all the team officials,  competitors  and range staff together and gave a demonstration of the system. It was well received.

To run a final I had to have someone conversant in sign language standing on box in such a position that all finalists could see the value of shots fired. All countries seem to have different methods of sign language. For the competitors the International method had to be used. If the person doing the signalling to the finalists was also deaf I had to have another person signalling my calls to the person on the box. Despite the problems and the cooperation of all concerned it worked superbly.  After the first couple of days the person doing the signalling could hear my calls so things became easier.

There was a slight problem with the electronic targets on the air range for the pistol final so a decision was made to revert to paper targets. This caused a delay of 15 minutes but there were no complaints.

Cheryl Knight, Val McCready and Bob Marshall did the scoring for the air competitions. They had a system which enabled them to produce results quickly. In the air rifle match they had the preliminary results posted about 5 minutes after the last shot was fired. The Korean team manager could not believe the preliminary results were up and he actually ran over to the window to see for himself. What he didn’t know was that all targets had been scored except for one lot. This was because the last shooter took much longer to finish. Once he did all, the scorers  had to do was score the ten targets, enter the scores into the computer and hit the print button.

There was one amusing incidence on the 50 metre range when we started the 50 metre matches. A young Italian team member came to us and we understood he wanted to know how the light system worked. We were trying to explain that we had demonstrated it and there was a sheet also explaining it. While this was going on his team manager could see there was a problem and came over. He spoke reasonable English so we explained his team member’s problem and that you should have the explanation sheet. He nodded, looked at his team member and said quietly “he will do his homework tonight”.

After the first day of competition I spoke to the German team official and asked him how we were performing. His answer was to reserve his comments until it is was over.  After the last match I was sitting in the club room with some other range officials when he walked past. I asked him to sit down and tell us how we performed.  His answer was similar to Gary Anderson’s comment to us at the conclusion of the Sydney Olympics, “this has been the best shooting event ever conducted at the Deaflympics”. He was right because that was the first time the event had been conducted under the Deaflympics title. However from other comments made it also included previous events. I doubt if any of the visitors knew that most of the range staff in Melbourne had also been involved in the Sydney Games.

In my travels to various events over the years I have seen both good and bad officials. In all that time I have never seen anything like what happened in Melbourne. After the last medal presentation team officials and competitors when around shaking hands, dishing out hugs and kisses (where appropriate) and thanking all the range officials present. A few days later we were told that most team managers had sent letters to the organising committee praising the running of the shooting event. Some weeks later word came through that shooting was formerly recognised as the best run event of all the sports conducted at the Games

Looking back over the years at all the events that I have been involved in this was the one I enjoyed the most. It was also the most difficult. We had to deal with something we had not experienced before, devise solutions to the  problems that arose and implement them. It was a lot of work but we did it and the icing on the cake was the accolades we received from both the teams and the organizations for our efforts.

Australia will enter one of its most experienced Olympic teams in history after the Australian Olympic Committee announced the team this morning to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

The selection marks an incredible fifth Olympics for Dan Repacholi, a fourth Games for Dina Aspandiyarova, a third for Dane Sampson and a second Games for Paul Adams, Elene Galiabovitch, Jack Rossiter, Laetisha Scanlan and James Willett.

While we have seven Olympic Games “rookies”, Laura Coles, Thomas Grice, Sergei Evglevski and Alex Hoberg all represented Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and have experienced the thrill of representing Australia at a major international Games.

The team continues the shooting’s rich Olympic family traditions.

Evglevski will follow in the footsteps of his six-time Olympian mother Lalita Yauhleuskaya, Jack Rossiter’s sister Tori is a 2018 Youth Olympian, Elena Galiabovitch’s father Vladimir is the Pistol national coach, Aspandiyarova’s husband, Anatoly Babushkin was the Australian Olympic team Pistol coach in 2004, 2008 and 2012, while Penny Smith’s mother, Kim, was a groom to Equestrian Andrew Hoy at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Shooting Australia congratulates the fifteen individual athletes who have emerged from a thorough, rigorous and fair Olympic nomination process, to be selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

While we acknowledge the Olympic selection of these athletes, Shooting Australia wishes to pay tribute and congratulate all the athletes who registered Minimum Qualification Scores and contested the nomination events for the spirit in which they have competed.

Congratulations also to the athlete coaches and families, the state and member organisations, clubs and officials and volunteers who have all given so much to the cause.

Olympic Team athletes now have the certainty of selection and they can now direct their singular focus on training and preparing for the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. We will be working hard with them all to ensure they are in top form at the end of an extended preparation period.

We understand the disappointment of non-selected athletes and we would like to congratulate all athletes on the spirit in which they competed for selection.

We will be working closely with the ISSF to plan a competition schedule leading into the Tokyo Olympics which will have our team members in peak form when the Games begin in July next year.

Shooting Australia is very fortunate to complete its nomination event process prior to the high level social and public restrictions that have been put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions were put in place after our last nomination event.

Pleaes join us in congratulating the Australian Shooting Team selected to represent Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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

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

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

“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

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.