Rifle athletes chasing Tokyo Olympic selection

Queensland’s Dane Sampson is aiming for an Olympic Games three-peat when the first Tokyo Olympic Games nomination trials for rifle athletes is conducted at Wingfield Rifle Club in Adelaide between February 15-18.

The trials will see two nomination events for men’s and women’s 10m Air Rifle next Saturday and Sunday followed by the first nomination event for men’s and women’s 50m 3 Positions on Tuesday.

Only athletes who have previously recorded Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) are eligible to be nominated for Australian Olympic team selection.

Sampson attended the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games and also the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he won the gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle.

Adelaide’s Jack Rossiter will be looking to make it a family affair when he attempts to win Tokyo Games selection.

Rossiter was a member of the Australian Olympic Team in Rio and his younger sister Tori is a strong Games candidate in the women’s 10m Air Rifle after winning the Oceania Championship in Sydney last November.

There is an added selection attraction for the Rossiter siblings as the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Teams event will be conducted at the Tokyo Olympics for the first time.

The Rossiters, Sampson and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games representatives, Emma Adams and Alex Hoberg, competed in Sweden, Germany and Austria last month in preparation for the nomination trials.

At the Meyton Cup in Austria, Hoberg won gold in the 10m Air Rifle junior event and Dane Sampson captured silver in the senior 10m Air Rifle.

In the 10m Air Rifle Mixed final, the Rossiters teamed up to take the gold medal, whilst in the Junior Mixed final, Tori Rossiter and Hoberg captured the bronze medal.

Shooting Australia Rifle National Coach Petr Kurka was pleased with the performances in Europe.

“These athletes are now ready to perform at a high level,” said Kurka.

The remaining rifle Olympic nomination events will be held at Wingfield Rifle Club on February 29-March 3, before the final trial for all shooting disciplines is held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre between March 18-22.

Athletes best three event qualification scores from the four nomination events are counted towards final nomination rankings. At the end of the four nomination events, athletes will be nominated by selectors for the Tokyo Olympics to the Australian Olympic Committee.

Rifle athletes with MQS’s who are eligible for Olympic selection are;

Women: Emma Adams (SA), Elise Collier (Vic), Katarina Kowplos (SA), Maria Rebling (NSW), Tori Rossiter (SA), Emma Woodroofe (SA).

Men: Michael Davis (SA), Michael Nicholas (SA), Alex Hoberg (SA), Jack Rossiter (SA), Dane Sampson (QLD)

Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications

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