Coles calms nerves to top Olympic skeet scoreboard

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.

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