Australia’s Laetisha Scanlan came within an agonising one target of earning a bronze medal in the women’s Trap Shooting final yesterday.

In an eventful final conducted in hot, blustry conditions, Scanlan looked set for a podium finish and needed to hit the last target at the 35-shot elimination stage to advance as one of the final three athletes.

Sadly, Scanlan missed the right-handed target to finish level on 26 targets with San Marino’s Alessandra Perilli. However, Perilli progressed as one of the last three athletes at Scanlan’s expense because of her higher qualification ranking.

Australia’s other Trap finalist, Penny Smith, also qualified for the final and finished sixth.

It was Scanlan’s second Olympics, and her fourth place was higher than her fifth placing behind gold medallist, Australian team-mate Catherine Skinner, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I’m super disappointed,” said Scanlan at the end of the final.

“I can’t really describe my feelings right now. One more target would have got me a bronze medal,” she said.

“It was a tough final and the medallist shot better.

“We’ve got the Mixed Teams event on Saturday, so we have got tomorrow to reset and then come back fighting,” she added.

“Hopefully when I reflect on this, this disappointing feeling won’t last for that long and I can look back and enjoy the memories that Japan has created.

“It’s been an amazing journey, a five-year long process and I’m really proud of myself to get to another Olympic Games especially within a pandemic,” she added.

In her first Olympics, Smith showed her class to qualify fifth for the six athlete final, but she was unable to reproduce her best form in the medal deciding round.

“Qualifying was good but the final was disappointing. But that’s how it rolls sometimes,” said Smith.

In the men’s Trap, James Willett and Tom Grice both missed qualifying for the final.

Willett needed to shoot two perfect rounds of 25 targets to qualify for a finals’ shoot-off but could only manage a last round score of 23 after shooting a faultless first round of 25.

Willett ultimately tallied 120 points to be placed 21st while Grice managed 119 points to be placed 25th.

Willett, Grice, Scanlan and Smith will turn their attention to the newly introduced Mixed Trap Pairs which will be held on Saturday.

Willett is paired with Scanlan while Grice will team-up with Smith.

Australia’s other athlete competing yesterday was Elena Galiabovitch in the Precision stage of the women’s 25m Pistol qualification round.

Galiabovitch sits in 31st position after registering scores of 94, 95 and 98 to tally 287 points.

The second Rapid Fire qualification stage will be held today. The top eight athletes will advance to the final.

It’s been more than two months since Penny Smith has been home to the family farm in Bookaar in western Victoria, but it will be well worth the wait when she makes her Olympic Games debut in the women’s Trap tomorrow.

Smith left home on May 23 to attend various domestic training camps and competitions prior to flying to Tokyo and was forced to have an extended heat training camp in Darwin and a longer training period on the Gold Coast because of Covid border closures.

She and 2016 Rio Olympic Trap finalist, Laetisha Scanlan, will contest the women’s Trap tomorrow while NSW’s Tom Grice will also make his Olympic debut alongside 2016 Rio Games Double Trap finalist, James Willett.

“It’s been a long journey but it’s great to be finally on the ground here in Tokyo,” said Smith.

“It’s been a life-long dream to be able to come to a Games and it will be really good to be here and begin shooting. It’s been a long wait,” she added.

Smith is a multi-talented athlete playing women’s AFL, riding in equestrian and played Netball at a high level before settling on a career in Trap shooting.

The Olympics runs deep in her family with her mum, Kim, the groom to Australian equestrian gold medallist, Andrew Hoy, at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Now Hoy and Smith are Australian Olympic team-mates and they caught up once again last week in the Olympic Village.

Smith will pair with Grice later this week in the Mixed Trap Teams event and the laid-back Grice is lapping up his first Olympics.

“In some ways it’s exactly how I expected it, but with COVID it’s changed up a bit. Being my first Games, I’ve had nothing really to compare it with, so I’ll just roll with it and crack on,” said Grice.

“Shooting is really nice here (at the range). It’s one of the few places you don’t have to wear a mask, so it makes it even more enjoyable,” he said with a laugh.

Scanlan is excited for the women’s Trap to commence.

“The range is great. It almost doesn’t feel real that we’re here after so many months of the uncertainty with the pandemic,” Scanlan said.

“I think there was always doubt in the back of my mind if it was going to go ahead, so it’s finally nice to be here in Tokyo at the range knowing there is a comp tomorrow.”

Willett has adjusted from Double Trap to Trap for these Games and his preparation has been assisted by having an Olympic range built on the family farm in Mulwala on the NSW-Victorian border just prior to the Covid pandemic.

“I’m feeling good, and training has been going well. I’ve done everything that I can and haven’t left any stone unturned,” he said.

The four Australians will each shoot three qualifying rounds of 25 targets tomorrow following by a further two qualifying rounds of 25 targets on Thursday, with the top six Trap shooters progressing to the finals on Thursday afternoon.

Olympic Games veterans Dan Repacholi and Dina Aspandiyarova have shelved any retirement plans and will commit to another Olympic cycle after finishing a credible eighth in the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Teams Shooting event day.

Repacholi, who is competing in his fifth Olympics and Aspandiyarova, who is attending her fourth, have now shifted their sights on the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The team were placed sixth after the qualification round where the top eight pairs moved through to the medal round qualification match.

While they equalled the sixth highest score of 380 points in the second round, they were ultimately relegated to eighth place on a countback.

Prior to the Tokyo Games, Aspandiyarova had indicated she would retire from international Shooting after these Games.

She commenced her international Shooting career 30 years ago in Tokyo when she represented her native Kazakhstan at the Asian Games.

“I initially thought my first Games were in Japan and my last would be in Japan 30 years later. But I’ve never been to Paris,” she said with a smile.

“While I was standing and shooting with my heart jumping out of my throat, I thought ‘no I don’t need this anymore’. But I really want to go to Paris, and it is only three years away now,” she added.

Repacholi said he and Aspandiyarova relished the new Mixed Teams event and hopes to contest the event in Paris 2024 and with the men’s 10m Air Pistol individual event.

“I definitely want to go to Paris. I’ve got two weeks to lay out a plan while I’m in quarantine, and then I’ll sit down with the coaches, Shooting Australia, and my wife to work out how we can make it work.

“I’m very excited. I know with the right work that I can do it. I belong to be here (at the Olympics).”

Repacholi and Aspandiyarova will now head home where they will be joined in post-Tokyo Games quarantine by Rifle athletes Alex Hoberg and Elise Collier after they and their fellow Mixed 10m Air Rifle Teams competitors, Dane Sampson and Katarina Kowplos, did not progress beyond the first qualification round.

Hoberg and Collier finished 19th with a score of 623.6 points, while Sampson and Kowplos were placed 22nd with 623.1 points.

Sampson said scores need to be consistently high to press for medal calculations.

“There just wasn’t enough scores in the deep tens. It’s all well and good to have 10.5’s and 10.6’s, but if you are going to have a couple of 10.1’s without having some 10.9’s and 10.8’s, then the result is going to be what it was,” said Sampson.

“You’ve got to get the deep (score) stuff because someone is going to.”

Sampson and Kowplos will now focus their attention on their final Games events, the men’s and women’s  50m Rifle 3 Positions matches later this week.

“I’ve got a few days until my next event to clear my head,” said Kowplos

Australian Rifle athlete Elise Collier today likened the Mixed 10m Air Rifle and the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Teams events to her days as an outstanding junior cricketer.

The Tokyo Olympics is the first time Mixed Teams events have been held at the Games. A third Mixed Teams event will be held in Trap on Saturday.

Collier said the Mixed Teams event was like a batsman or a bowler at the crease in cricket with their team-mate batting or bowling at the other end.

“It’s very similar to cricket. In cricket, you are batting or bowling as an individual but part of a wider team,” explained Collier.
“In the Mixed Teams, we are competing individually with our scores combining for a Teams score,” she added.

Having played in many various team sports in her varied junior sports career, Collier is excited about tomorrow’s Mixed 10m Air Rifle Teams event where she is paired with South Australian, Alex Hoberg.

“Having someone else there, especially someone that you get along with, just makes it fun,” said Collier. “There’s no stress, no pressure. You both know whatever happens, happens so just go out there any try your best,” she added.

Hoberg is upbeat about their prospects. “If both of us can produce our average score, there’s no reason why we can’t make the final. But there’s a different level of pressure at the Olympics as we have experienced already,” he said.

“We can talk and communicate in this event. Usually, you can’t do that. So, it’s something for us to enjoy,” he added. Australia will also enter a second Mixed 10m Air Rifle Team with the experienced Dane Sampson paired with Olympic Games rookie, Katarina Kowplos.

Sampson, who is attending his third Games believes the Mixed Teams event is a great addition to the competition schedule. “It’s something that you don’t get to experience much before because Shooting is mostly an individual sport. I like it. It’s going to be fun,” he said.

In the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Teams event, Australia will field the most experienced paring in five-time Olympian, Dan Repacholi, and four-time Olympian, Dina Aspandiyarova.

“It’s great that we get another event in Air Pistol so I’m looking forward to that,” said Repacholi.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Shooting Australia said today’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee to award the 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to Brisbane will ignite an 11-year plan for its Pathway squad and emerging athletes to ultimately win Australian Team selection.

Shooting Australia President, Cath Fettell congratulated the Brisbane 2032 Bid Team, the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia on being awarded the Games saying the IOC’s vote reflected complete confidence in Australia’s proven ability to again successfully host and stage two of the world’s biggest sports events.

Ms Fettell said the IOC’s decision represents a golden opportunity for young Australian Shooting athletes to win selection and compete at a home Games.

Shooting Australia Chief Executive, Luke van Kempen said “It may seem that the 2032 Games is some time away, but the reality is this time will fly by. So, we will quickly seize upon this home Games announcement and generate the momentum to carry us forward towards a highly successful Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

“We announced a three-tier Performance Squad earlier this year and our Pathway program will be actively identifying athletes who have the talent and commitment to win selection at future Olympic and Paralympic Games cycles, including Brisbane 2032

“The 2024 Junior World Championships for Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun disciplines will be held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre (SISC) at Cecil Park and this event will be a great occasion for our young competitors to continue their development and experience a home Championship.

“We saw at the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and again at the 2006 Melbourne and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, how a home Games provided a compelling motivational experience for our athletes. Brisbane 2032 will be no different,” said Mr van Kempen.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Mr van Kempen said the opportunity to participate at the 2032 Brisbane Games was not limited to athletes.

“Today’s announcement represents a watershed moment for everyone involved in all Shooting disciplines, whether they be an athlete, coach or an official, to ask themselves how they can participate and contribute to the success of the Australian team and to the Games in 2032,” he said.

“The 2032 Brisbane Games can be the inspiration for Shooting club members to be trained and be qualified to be among the event officials and volunteer staff at the Games and ultimately lead to involvement in overseas international events.

“The IOC’s decision will be the catalyst for a renewed spirit of collaboration where everyone involved in target Shooting sports can contribute towards the 2032 Brisbane Games,” added Mr van Kempen.

Each member of Australia’s Para-shooting Team for Tokyo 2020 will draw on their previous Paralympic experiences when they compete at the Asaka Shooting Range in what is destined to be a Games like no other.

The three-person Team was unveiled by Paralympics Australia on Tuesday and will seek to win Australia’s first gold medal in the sport since Seoul 1988.

World Championship silver medallist Anton Zappelli, London 2012 bronze medallist Natalie Smith and 2016 Games fourth-place finisher Chris Pitt each have at least one Paralympic campaign under their belt.

“It definitely helps that we’ve each competed at a Paralympics before,” Zappelli said. “In my case, Rio was really just a taste of what it’s all about and the whole experience of competing at that level. You can’t compare it to anything else. It was a real eye-opener for me.

“This will be different because of the circumstances. It’s been a strange lead-up but, as far as the way the competition is run and the people we’re competing against, I think we’ll all be more comfortable.”

Having competed at the Paralympics previously may help the Para-shooters but it’s notable these will be the first Games in nearly 50 years in which Libby Kosmala will not participate. Kosmala attended an extraordinary 12 Paralympic Games and won nine gold and three silver medals in Para-shooting before retiring from international competition after Rio.

“Libby was always a wealth of knowledge for us,” Zappelli said. “It’ll feel a bit different not having her around, definitely. But it’s there for us to try and set our own history now.”

Australian Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin is backing this Team to begin a new era of success.

“Libby’s retirement left a huge hole and that sort of experience can’t be replaced,” McLoughlin said. “Yet, looking at the credentials of the three Para-shooters we’ve announced today and the way they’ve gone about preparing for Tokyo, it’s clear they’re absolutely ready to step up and put Australia among the world’s best nations in the sport.

“I look forward to supporting Anton, Nat and Chris throughout this campaign so they can focus on performing at their very best.”

Smith will compete in the R2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing and, teaming with Zappelli, the R3 mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone. Zappelli will also contest the R6 mixed 50m Rifle Prone. Pitt will compete in the P1 men’s 10m Air Pistol and the P3 mixed 25m Pistol.

“This Team represents the very best of Australian Para-shooting, a sport in which we’ve won 25 medals including 15 gold since it was introduced to the Games in 1976,” Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said.

“Congratulations to this fabulous trio of Para-athletes, welcome to the Australian Paralympic Team and thank you to everyone at Shooting Australia who’s worked incredibly hard to ensure we’re sending a strong and well prepared Team to Tokyo.”

Zappelli thanked Shooting Australia on behalf of his teammates and wanted to specially mention former Para-shooting Head Coach Miroslav Sipek.

“I owe him a lot,” Zappelli said. “We were all under Miro and, though we all had our other coaches too, I feel really lucky to have been coached by him. Hopefully I can come away with a medal in Tokyo and make him proud.”

The Australian Olympic Shooting team today announced the five combinations to contest the newly introduced Mixed Teams events in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun disciplines at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Australia will field two combinations in both Mixed Trap Teams and 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams, and a single pairing in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Teams.

The selected combinations are:

Mixed Trap Teams:                   James Willett (NSW) and Laetisha Scanlan (Vic)

Tom Grice (NSW) and Penny Smith (Vic)

10m Rifle Mixed Teams:           Dane Sampson (Qld) and Katarina Kowplos (SA)

Alex Hoberg (SA) and Elise Collier (Vic)

10m Air Pistol Mixed Teams:     Daniel Repacholi (NSW) and Dina Aspandiyarova (Qld)

The Willett-Scanlan and Grice-Smith Mixed Teams pairings are tried and tested combinations with each enjoying World Shotgun Championship gold medal success.

Willett and Scanlan, who attended the 2016 Rio Olympics, won the Mixed Trap Teams at the 2019 World Shotgun Championships with Grice and Smith capturing the bronze medal.

Grice and Smith won the Mixed Trap Teams gold medal at the 2017 World Shotgun Championships.

The 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams combinations were settled after a two-day “shoot off” during the Shooting team’s Pre-Tokyo camp in Brisbane this week.

Sampson, who will attend his third Olympics in Tokyo, is paired with Kowplos who will make her Olympic debut. Sampson and Kowplos will also shoot in the respective men’s and women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event, and Sampson will also contest the men’s 10m Air Rifle.

Hoberg, the youngest member of the Australian Olympic Shooting Team, will compete alongside Victoria’s Elise Collier. Both will also contest the respective men’s and women’s 10m Air Rifle events.

Repacholi and Aspandiyarova will be one of the most experienced Mixed Teams in Tokyo with a total of nine Olympic Games between them.

Repacholi will be representing Australia in his fifth Olympics while Aspandiyarova is attending her third Games for Australia after making her Games debut for Kazakhstan at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Shooting Australia High Performance Director, Adam Sachs, said the Mixed Teams combinations feature experienced Olympians and Australia’s next generation of top level athletes.

“The Mixed Teams events is new Olympic ground for all nations, and we are delighted to field five strong combinations,” said Sachs.

“We have seasoned Games campaigners in Dan, Dina, Dane, James and Laetisha, and Olympic debutants in Tom, Penny, Elise, Alex and Katarina,” he added.

The 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams and 10m Air Pistol Mixed Teams events will both be conducted on Day 4 of the Games, July 27, while the Mixed Trap Teams will be staged on Day 8, July 31.

Due to the continuing COVID-19 situation, some important decisions have been made about upcoming International Events and the resulting Selection Series.

Unfortunately we have been advised that the 2021 Oceania Shooting Federation Championships as well as the 2022 Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships have been CANCELLED.

In addition, due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic around the world, Shooting Australia has been considering the health and safety concerns of sending Australian Teams to upcoming international events in 2021 and in the early part of 2022. The Shooting Australia High Performance Committee met recently to consider these concerns, as well as to give consideration to an alternative approach to team selection. Recommendations were provided to and endorsed by the Shooting Australia Board on 1 July.

The following information outlines the decisions made around team selection for each of the upcoming International events.


The Oceania Shooting Federation has advised that the 2021 Oceania Championships (scheduled to be held in Australia, November 2021) has been CANCELLED, with National Federations in the region not being able to commit to attending the event due to COVID-19 health and safety impacts as well as travel restrictions.

Shooting Australia accepts this position and will not be running an alternative event in its place. We recognise that there is already a busy schedule of events in Australia in the second half of 2021 and we want to create some space in the calendar to see out the remainder of the year.​

Acknowledging that the 2021 Oceania Championships has been cancelled, Shooting Australia will continue the current Selection Event series, and will announce an Australian A Team even though it will not compete. The team will be acknowledged at Shooting Australia’s annual Awards of Excellence in November.


Shooting Australia WILL NOT send an Australian Team to this event due to the current COVID-19 health and safety risks.

Noting that the Selection Event Series has been completed, Shooting Australia will continue with the selection and naming of the Team. Athletes selected to this Team will be acknowledged at the annual Awards of Excellence and will also receive a Junior Development Grant. Further information on the Junior Development Grant will be provided to the Team once announced.

We acknowledge that many athletes and coaches have put significant time and resources into preparing themselves for the Junior World Championships and the Oceania Championships, and we feel it’s important to recognise this effort and their performances.


Shooting Australia has been advised that this event has been CANCELLED.

On the basis that this Selection Event Series is significantly less advanced than the Oceania Championships Selection Event series, the decision has been reached to discontinue this Selection Event Series.

The domestic competitions identified as Selection Events for the Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships will continue to be endorsed and supported by Shooting Australia and delivered as part of Shooting Australia’s Performance Series. This will allow athletes to continue to record scores that will contribute to their Average Performance Score (APS) and subsequently improve their opportunities for selection to Australian Teams in 2022 and beyond.

For more information on APS click here

We’re still looking forward to delivering the second half of what is a very big domestic calendar of events and hope to see you there.

Queensland’s Dane Sampson and Victoria’s Elise Collier ended their pre-Tokyo Olympic Games competition schedule when capturing the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs gold medal on the final day of the Wingfield Grand Prix in Adelaide today.

With two points awarded to the pairing scoring the highest aggregate points after each singular firing round, the match winner is the team which first accumulates 16 points.

Sampson and Collier peeled off 10 consecutive points with five round wins midway through the contest to ultimately claim a 16-12 gold medal win over the brother and sister pair of Jack and Tori Rossiter.

Tokyo team-members, Alex Hoberg and Katarina Kowplos, snared the bronze medal when defeating Victorians Michael Davis and Olivia Cartwright 16-4.

Australia will field two 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs teams at the Tokyo Olympics and the selectors are yet to finalise the ultimate combinations, however the victory by Sampson and Collier will strengthen their claims to be named as an Olympic pairing.

The Rossiters proved to be formidable gold medal match opponents after breaking their Australian 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs qualifying record.

The Rossiters registered 420.3 points to surpass their old record of 419.4 points by 0.9 points, while Sampson and Collier qualified second for the gold medal final with 418.6 points, well clear of Hoberg and Kowplos (413.9 points).

In a high quality gold medal match, the Rossiters jumped to an early 6-2 advantage, before Sampson and Collier found their rhythm to march to a 12-6 lead.

The Rossiters then fought back to narrow the score to 12-10, but Collier and then Sampson each registered a near perfect score of 10.8 points with one of their final two shots to seal victory.

The Australian Rifle athletes will join fellow Tokyo Olympic Pistol and Shotgun team members in Brisbane next Sunday for a 14-day pre-Tokyo Staging camp prior to the Opening Ceremony on July 23.

Tokyo Olympic Games team member, Alex Hoberg, equalled the men’s 10m Air Rifle world record when winning the Open event at the Wingfield Grand Prix In Adelaide yesterday.

Competing in the final Performance Series event before the 15-member Australian team enters a 14-day Pre-Tokyo Olympic Games Staging camp in Brisbane next Sunday, the Adelaide athlete equalled the world record of 252.8 points set by China’s Haonan Yu at the Rio World Cup in 2019.

Unfortunately, Hoberg’s score will not be officially recognised as an equal world record as the mark was not performed at an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) event or at an Olympic Games.

However, Hoberg’s score eclipse the Australian record of 252.0 set by Tokyo Olympic Games team-mate, Jack Rossiter, at the Target Rifle Australia National Championships in Shepparton in April.

Hoberg’s score was 4.4 points higher than the gold medal winning score of 248.4 points set by Russia’s Sergey Kamesnkiy at the 2018 ISSF World Championships.

At the Wingfield Grand Prix, Hoberg defeated Rossiter (252.1 points) by a slender 0.7 points with Olympian Dane Sampson (230.0) placed third.

In a world class performance, Rossiter led Hoberg by a mere 0.1 points with the final two shots of the 24 shot final remaining.

Hoberg fired 10.5 and a near perfect 10.8 while Rossiter managed scores of 10.1 and 10.4 to finish with a personal best score for the event.

Hoberg, aged 20, is the youngest member of the Australian Olympic Shooting team but will arrive in Tokyo with previous Games experience having competed at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Rio.

Hoberg and Sampson will both contest the 10m Air Rifle and the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams events in Tokyo, while Rossiter will compete alongside Sampson in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions event.

In the earlier Open 10m Air Rifle qualifying round, Hoberg managed a world class score of 629.3 points which improved his Australian National Junior record by 0.1 points set in Austria in February, 2020.

Despite his fine score, Hoberg was outpointed in the qualifying round by Tori Rossiter who broke her Australian women’s Open and Junior record with a score of 632.2 points.

Rossiter’s previous record was 631.5 set in Adelaide earlier this year. In the final, Rossiter was placed seventh.