NSW’s James Willett and Queensland’s Paul Adams have positioned themselves to win back-to-back Olympic Games selection in men’s trap and men’s skeet respectively after the first two of four nomination events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Both Willett (248 points) and Adams (246 points) were members of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games team and have opened handy leads after the Commonwealth and National titles at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club last week.
Laura Coles (234 points) holds a three point lead over Victoria’s 2016 Olympian Aislin Jones (231) in the women’s skeet, while another Victorian Penny Smith (239) is eight points clear of 2016 Olympic trap finalist, Laetisha Scanlan (231).
Only athletes who have previously recorded Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) are eligible to be nominated for Olympic team selection.
The remaining nomination events for trap and skeet athletes are the Yarra Valley Open (February 27-March 1) and Shooting Australia Open (March 18-22). Athletes will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) for selection after these events.
While athletes register scores in qualifying at each of the four events, only the best three qualifying scores (and any finals points attached to those performances) will count towards their nomination rankings.
“The Olympic nomination process rewards consistently strong performances in both qualification and finals across the four events. However, an athlete’s worst result based on qualifying score only will be disregarded,” said National Performance Director, Adam Sachs.
At the end of the nomination events, a panel of selectors will meet to determine which athletes will be nominated to the AOC for selection in accordance with Shooting’s Olympic Nomination Criteria.
“As part of these deliberations, the panel will consider whether or not it will exercise its right to change a maximum of one quota place in one event for one quota place in an any other event within the same gender,” said Sachs.
“We may exercise this right if we believe the change is likely to improve the chances of Shooting and the Australian Olympic team winning a medal in Tokyo,” he added.
The next Olympic qualifying event is for male and female rifle athletes who will contest the Adelaide Cup between February 15-18.
Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications