DINA’S GOLD MEDAL DOUBLE SETS HER TOKYO BOUND

Tokyo Olympic Games pistol team member, Dina Aspandiyarova, completed a confidence boosting gold medal double on day one of the Brisbane Cup Pistol and Rifle competition at the Brisbane International Shooting Centre today.

Aspandiyarova, a Brisbane local, used her home range experience to her advantage when winning the individual 10m Air Pistol and the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Pairs where she teamed-up alongside NSW’s four-time Olympian, Dan Repacholi.

Aspandiyarova will be attending her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo having represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics after winning selection for her native Kazakhstan at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Aspandiyarova registered her best 10m Air Pistol finals result of the 2021 Performance Series with a total of 237.5 points to overcome Victoria’s Elena Galiabovitch (235.7 points) by 1.8 points with Queensland’s Civon Smith (214.5 points) claiming the bronze medal.

Aspandiyarova and Repacholi later enjoyed an easy 16-2 win in the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Pairs over ACT’s Thomas Ashmore and South Australia’s Alison Heinrich. Julie Dunks and John Gray were the bronze medallists.

Another Queenslander, Dane Sampson, continued his dominance in the 50m Rifle Three Positions event with his sixth gold medal victory of the Performance Series.

Sampson, who will attend his third Olympics in Tokyo, registered 452.9 points to outclass Victoria’s Michael Davis (449.6 points) with South Australia’s Jack Rossiter (439.7 points) placed third.

In the Para Sport Open 10m Air Rifle final, 2016 Rio Paralympian Anton Zappelli performed brilliantly to defeat Queensland locals Glen McMurtrie and Natalie Smith.

West Australian Zappelli won the final shooting 253.7 points – 0.5 points better than the gold medal winning score by Great Britain’s Matt Skelhon at the 2019 World Shooting Para Sport championships in Sydney.

Zappelli and Smith have both won quota positions for Australia at the Tokyo Paralympic Games which commence in August.

Despite early pressure from McMurtrie (248.5 points), Zappelli displayed his class to win by a comfortable 5.2 points ahead of McMurtie with Smith (228.6 points) earning the bronze medal.

Tomorrow’s events will see the Open 10m Air Rifle, men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol and the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams finals.

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