Queensland’s Dane Sampson broke his Australian National finals record for the 50m Rifle 3 Positions event for the second time in five weeks when winning the gold medal at the Target Rifle South Australia State Championships at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.
Sampson, a 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympian, bolstered his confidence for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games when slashing his old Australian National finals record by 1.3 points when registering a winning score of 462.0 points.
Sampson outclassed South Australia’s Jack Rossiter (454.9 points) and Victoria’s Michael Davis (443.2 points) in an impressive display across the kneeling, prone and standing positions.
Sampson’s record score in the final was superior to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2018 World Championships gold medal winning scores set by Italy’s Niccolo Campriani (458.8 points) in 2016 and Poland’s Tomasz Bartnik (460.4 points) in 2018.
Last month, Sampson recorded a score of 460.7 points when winning the Wingfield Grand Prix – a mere 0.1 points better than the Australian National record he set at the Queensland Championships in 2017.
Today, Sampson cruised to a 4.6 point lead after the kneeling stage and extended his lead to 5.9 points after the prone round and only two scores of 9.2 points in the standing round prevented him from setting a higher mark for the Australian National record.
“It’s good to be shooting PB’s at this stage. It was a world class finals score, and you are unlikely to lose many competitions with that score,” said Sampson.
“I definitely feel that I am getting better and better and I am tracking well for Tokyo.”
Sampson’s Tokyo Olympic Games team-mates Penny Smith and Thomas Grice also displayed outstanding form when winning the Mixed Trap Pairs gold medal match at the Victorian ISSF Championships in Echuca today.
Smith and Grice, winners of the inaugural Mixed Pairs at the World Shotgun Championships titles in 2017, scored an impressive 47 from 50 targets to comfortably defeat Tokyo Olympic team-mates James Willett and Laetisha Scanlan (40/50).
Smith and Grice were faultless for the first 36 targets and opened a commanding six target lead with 14 targets remaining.
The bronze medal was won by Mitch Iles and Echuca local, Kiara Dean (42/50) who edged aside Victorian pair of Daniel Di Pietro and Stephanie Pile (40/50).
The TRSA Championships continue tomorrow with the Open 10m Air Rifle which will be live streamed on Shooting Australia TV from 1pm, while the first round of the Victorian ISSF Championships Men’s and Women’s Skeet and Trap events will be conducted in Echuca.