Coles takes charge to capture Commonwealth title

Western Australia’s Laura Coles gained revenge when edging aside New Zealand’s Chloe Tipple to capture the Women’s Commonwealth Skeet title at Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club today.

Tipple won the Oceania Championship Women’s Skeet gold medal in Sydney last November in a dominant display, but it was Coles who starred today to capture the gold medal and put herself in a strong position to clinch Australian Olympic Games team selection in March.

Coles, a two-time Commonwealth Games representative who won gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, hit 52 of 60 targets ahead of Tipple (48 targets) with 2016 Australian Olympian Aislin Jones (39 targets) in third place.

Coles said her victory vindicated technical changes she made last year.

“I changed equipment with a new gun and have changed my mount position. I tended to become more upright when under pressure, so it was great to have success today,” said Coles.

“I stuck to my processes and the results followed,” she added.

In the Men’s Skeet Commonwealth Final, Queensland’s Paul Adams overcame an inconsistent qualifying performance to take the gold medal.

Adams was ranked fourth coming into the final and took command from the outset hitting 57 of 60 targets to defeat Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club member Frank Morris (52 targets) with Victoria’s James Bolding (42 targets) placed third.

The biggest surprise of the final was the elimination of top qualifier Luke Argiro after the first round.

Adams’ performance, which saw him score two perfect rounds of 10, saw him maintain his great form after winning the Oceania Championship last year.

“My qualifying rounds were quite poor, and I needed to pull my finger out in the final,” admitted Adams.

“It’s nice to get back to back victories after winning the Oceania title, but it is still very early days as far as Olympic selection is concerned,” he added.

There is no rest for the Australian Men’s and Women’s Skeet Shooters as they commence qualification for the National Championship tomorrow.

In the first round of qualification in the Men’s Trap, 2016 Rio Olympian James Willett from NSW signalled his intentions scoring 72 out of 75 targets including a perfect opening round of 25.

Rio 2016 gold medallist, Victoria’s Catherine Skinner, also showed she is in fine form scoring 71 targets to be the top ranked Women’s Trap shooter after day one ahead of fellow Victorians Laetisha Scanlan and Penny Smith (both 69).

The Men’s and Women’s Trap shooting athletes will contest two further rounds of 25 targets tomorrow before the top six athletes qualify for the final tomorrow afternoon.

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications

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