Australian shooting athletes will be vying for 14 event quota positions for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games when the 2019 Oceania Shooting Championship is conducted at the Sydney International Shooting Centre between November 2-8.
Quota places are awarded to countries by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), based on the performances of their athletes at Olympic qualification events.
To date, Australia has secured four Olympic quotas following outstanding performances by 2016 Rio Olympic Games representatives James Willett (men’s trap), Dane Sampson (men’s rifle) and Laetisha Scanlan (women’s trap), plus Penny Smith (women’s trap) in international competition over the past 12 months.
Australian shooting athletes yet to clinch quota positions include Rio Olympians Elena Galiabovitch (pistol), Daniel Repacholi (pistol), Jack Rossiter (rifle), Adam Vella (men’s trap), Mitchell Iles (men’s trap), Aislin Jones (women’s skeet) and Paul Adams (men’s skeet), plus Gold Coast 2018
Commonwealth Games silver medallists Kerry Bell (men’s pistol) and Sergei Evglevski (men’s pistol).
Repacholi, who will compete in the men’s 10m Air Pistol, is looking to win Olympic selection for his fifth successive Games after making his debut at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Another Olympic veteran aiming for Tokyo selection is Bruce Quick, who will compete in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol and the 50m Pistol.
If Quick can register a minimum qualification score (MQS) and ultimately win selection for Tokyo, it will be 12 years since his last Olympics having competed at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games.
The brother-sister pair of South Australians Jack and Victoria Rossiter are also looking to win Olympic selection. Jack was a member of shooting’s Rio Olympic Games team and he and Victoria had hoped to be both picked for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, but Jack missed selection.
Shooting Australia’s High Performance Director, Adam Sachs, said the Championship was the last chance for Australian athletes to win quota places for Tokyo.
“This is the final ISSF designated event for Australian shooting athletes. We will then use our domestic competitions in the New Year to finalise our Olympic team nominations which will be forwarded to the Australian Olympic Committee, prior to the final shooting team announcement on
March 27,” explained Sachs.
Willett, Scanlan and Smith have been permitted to miss the Oceania Championships. “They have had a busy year travelling and competing, and their coaches felt it was best for them to rest and recover before resuming training in preparation for the final team selection events early next year,” said Sachs.
Australia will field two teams at the Championships. Only A Team athletes will be permitted to progress to finals and win quotas. B Team athletes will not be eligible for finals but will be able to shoot for MQS places.
Sachs believes Australian shooting athletes will rise to the occasion and clinch most of the available Olympic quota positions at the Oceania Championships.
“We have a mixture of experienced athletes and highly talented younger athletes. It’s an exciting blend and we are confident that we can perform well and increase our Olympic quota numbers,” he said.
The Oceania Championships will involve competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, and Papua New Guinea.
The New Zealand team includes Natalie Rooney who won the silver medal behind Australian gold medallist Catherine Skinner in the women’s trap at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The Oceania Championships will run from 1 – 9 November at the Sydney International Shooting Centre in Cecil Park NSW. More information is available on the event website. Shooting Australia Facebook and Twitter pages.
Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications