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.

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.

Queensland’s Dane Sampson will be headed to his third successive Olympic Games after continuing his masterly clean sweep in the men’s 3 Positions nomination final in Adelaide today.

Sampson’s victory has guaranteed him a place on the plane to the Tokyo Olympics even with the final 3 Positions nomination event to be held in Sydney later this month.

With athletes able to choose three of their best four nominations events for selection consideration, Sampson (3539 points) holds a 45 point lead over South Australians Alex Hoberg (3494) and Jack Rossiter (3484).

Sampson again proved too accurate today when tallying 454.9 points to defeat Hoberg (452.2) by 2.7 points with Victoria’s Michael Davis (441.2) taking the bronze medal.

Sampson is also unbeaten in the three men’s 10m Air Rifle nomination events to date and is strongly favoured to claim Australia’s single quota when the final event is held in Sydney later this month.

The bearded Queenslander was delighted to win the 3 Positions quota in such a decisive manner.

“I’m glad to have that done. I’m happy to shoot another competition and I can use that as training in Sydney,” said Sampson.

“That’s for sure me going (to Tokyo) and now we just have to decide on the air rifle. There’s a little bit of relief. One shoulder is relaxed and the other one is still working,” he added.

In the third women’s 3 Positions nomination event, South Australia’s Emma Adams scored back to back victories with a convincing win over Katarina Kowplos and Emma Woodroofe.

Adams (439.9 points) proved too strong in the final standing section to defeat Kowplos (430.9) by nine points with Woodroofe (422.2) relegated to third position after losing an earlier shoot-off to Kowplos.

Adams, who shot a personal best to be the highest qualifier, led Kowplos by a mere 0.4 points after the kneeling and prone rotations but outclassed her rivals in the standing section.

“I had a really good prone today which is good. I felt good and it was easy which doesn’t usually happen for me,” said Adams.

Despite being the runner-up today, Kowplos goes into the final nomination event in Sydney as the strong favourite to win Australian Olympic team selection.

Kowplos has amassed 3425 points in the race for Tokyo – 23 points ahead of Adams.

South Australia’s Emma Adams produced a confidence boosting victory when winning the second women’s 3 Position Tokyo Olympic Games nomination trial at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

In an all-South Australian podium, Adams, a dual Commonwealth Games representative, claimed victory when scoring 434.9 points ahead of Tori Rossiter (432.0) and Katarina Kowplos (420.1).

Kowplos has a healthy lead in the race for Australia’s sole women’s 3 Positions quota position after another outstanding qualifying round yesterday. But Adams is looking to reverse the lead with two qualifying events remaining.

“I’m optimistic. If it happens, it happens but if not, good luck to Katarina,” said Adams.

Adams took a decisive 5.6 point lead in the first-up 15-shot kneeling rotation and never relinquished the lead.

“Kneeling is where I can get my most points,” said Adams. “I watched a whole season of Netflix on my knee in my living room to get comfortable in the position.”

NSW’s Maria Rebling, who was a strong contender for Olympic selection in the event, was forced to withdraw from today’s event after being diagnosed with a blood clot and unable to fly.

With the third of the four women’s 3 Positions qualifying events to be held tomorrow, Rebling’s hopes of winning Tokyo selection have been unfortunately dashed.

Earlier, Queensland’s Dane Sampson produced a domestic personal best qualifying score on the way to winning the men’s 3 Position final.

Sampson took a stranglehold on Australia’s single men’s 3 Position quota position for Tokyo when scoring 454.7 points to defeat South Australians Alex Hoberg (452.8) and Jack Rossiter (438.2)

Sampson (2361 points) has opened up a 35 point lead on the nomination scoreboard over Hoberg (2326) and Rossiter (2318).

Sampson’s personal best qualifying score of 1188 was recorded in the Czech Republic last year and he was satisfied with another improved performance.

“Qualifying was good. It was solid and I’m happy with that. My goal was to have a good result and do better that I did in the first nomination which I did,” he said.

“I’m in a very good position, but nothing is done until its done, so I am staying focused,” he added.

Catherine Skinner proved Olympic champions never lay down when surging back into Australian team selection for Tokyo Games when winning the third women’s trap nomination trial at the Melbourne Gun Club today.

Skinner, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games women’s trap gold medallist, slipped in the race for Australian team selection at the second nomination event in Newcastle in January, but today she proved she remains a world class trap athlete leading throughout the final to claim an important win.

Skinner ultimately shot 41 of 50 targets to edge aside fellow Victorians, Laetisha Scanlan (38) and Penny Smith (29).

Thanks to another world class qualifying score, Smith currently heads the race to claim one of Australia’s two women’s trap quota positions for the Tokyo Games.

Smith has tallied 364 points, 15 points ahead of Scanlan (348) with Skinner (345) just three points behind.

With the final nomination trial to be held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre on March 22, Australia’s second women’s trap position looms as a winner-take-all battle between Scanlan and Skinner.

“Penny Smith has been shooting fantastically and she’s got a very significant lead on us and I needed to pull something out to have a chance,” said Skinner.

In the third men’s trap nomination event, NSW’s James Willett (44 targets) continued his dominance when out-scoring Victoria’s Mitch Iles (41) and NSW’s Thomas Grice (31).

Willett and Iles couldn’t be separated for the first 30 of 50 targets, but Willett’s accuracy proved decisive over the final 20 targets.

Willett is certain to win selection for Tokyo with Iles and Grice battling for Australia’s second quota position.

In the men’s skeet, Queensland’s Paul Adams won a controversial final when defeating Victoria’s Keith Ferguson in a double shoot-off after their scores were tied after 60 targets, and then again after the first four shoot-off targets.

Ferguson, Luke Argiro, Joshua Bell and Frank Morris began the final on the back foot when they were all deducted a shot after presenting themselves after the official reporting time prior to the commencement of the match.

Despite an unsuccessful post-match protest, this penalty ultimately cost Ferguson the gold medal, while NSW’s James Bolding claimed the bronze medal.

Shooting in blustery conditions, Argiro held the early advantage before Adams, Ferguson and James Bolding charged back to eventually force Argiro’s elimination after 40 targets.

It was Adams’ third consecutive Olympic nomination trial victory, and he now holds an 11-point lead over NSW’s Joshua Bell in the race for Australia’s single men’s skeet Olympic team quota position.

In the women’s Skeet final, Victoria’s Aislin Jones held her nerve in the closing stages to edge aside West Australia’s Laura Coles by two targets.

Jones hit 40 of 60 targets ahead of Coles (38) while Victoria’s Brittany Melbourne, the highest ranked finalist, was third.

“It was definitely an up and down performance in both targets and performance. It was challenging,” said Jones.

The race for Olympic team selection for the single women’s Skeet quota place will go down to the final nomination trial in Sydney

Jones (348 points) holds a one point lead over Coles (347) with Melbourne (335) in third position.

South Australia’s Tori Rossiter edged closer to Tokyo Olympic Games selection after displaying a high level of composure to win the third Australian team 10m Air Rifle nomination event at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

In a high-class final, Rossiter languished in fifth position in the eight-person field after the first 12 of 24 shots and faced the prospect of early elimination.

But Rossiter regained her focus and peeled off three near perfect successive scores of 10.8 to shoot back into gold medal contention and trailed leader, Victoria’s Elise Collier, by a mere 0.3 point after 18 shots.

The pair later traded scores of a perfect 10.9 and were eventually deadlocked on 228.1 points with the final two shots remaining.

Rossiter then fired another 10.8 and a final 10.2, while Collier could only manage scores of 10.0 and 9.9. South Australia’s Emma Woodroofe captured the bronze medal.

Rossiter, a 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games representative, said she mentally blocked out the scoreboard in the final.

“I’m just trying to shoot the best shot that I can. I can’t influence what anyone is doing,” said Rossiter.

Rossiter’s qualifying score of 628.1 was the highest of her three qualifying scores to date and holds an important 9.1 lead over Collier in the race for Tokyo selection.

In the men’s 10m Air Pistol final, Queensland’s Dane Sampson seems destined for his third Olympics after a third consecutive nomination victory.

Once again South Australia’s young gun, Alex Hoberg, topped qualifying and the pivotal moment came in the 19th of 24 shots when Hoberg, who was leading by 1.1 points, could only manage a score of 9.9 while Sampson peeled off a near perfect 10.8 to slash the lead to just 0.2.

Sampson’s experience then came to the fore and he closed out the victory to tally 250.2 points ahead of Hoberg 249.7 and Jack Rossiter (227).

Despite the win and opening up a handy 2.7 point lead over Hoberg in the overall Olympic rifle nomination scoreboard, Sampson is still searching for an optimum performance.

“It’s getting better and better every week. I’m in the best position that I can be in and I’m happy that I’m in front,” said Sampson.

“It’s a tight competition, which is great, and its pushing all of us and that works well for us,” he added.

There will be two men’s and women’s 3 Positions nomination events on Monday and Tuesday.