Sampson completes gold medal hat-rick with final shot

Last shot Dane has done it again.

Queensland’s Dane Sampson completed a clean sweep of the Tokyo Olympic Games nomination rifle events when recording another last gasp victory in the first men’s 3 Positions final at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

Trailing South Australia’s Jack Rossiter by 0.5 points with two shots remaining in the standing section, Sampson shot a score of 9.9 while Rossiter fired a 9.5 to see his lead cut to just 0.1 points.

Then with the final shot, Sampson jumped to victory with a score of 10.5 while Rossiter managed a 10.2.

Sampson ultimately scored a total of 451.7 points ahead of Rossiter (451.5) with South Australia’s Alex Hoberg (439.4) taking the bronze medal.

Rossiter opened a 4.3 point margin over Sampson after the kneeling section, but the margin was reduced to 3.7 points after the prone shots.

Rossiter led by 1.8 points with four shots remaining but then wobbled with a score of 9.2 while Sampson fired a near perfect 10.8 to reduce the lead to 0.2.

Rossiter then extended the lead to 0.5 points with two shots left before Sampson stormed home to snatch victory.

Earlier in the championship, Sampson defeated Rossiter to win gold in the first men’s 10m Air Pistol final last Saturday before pipping Hoberg by a mere 0.1 points with his final shot to claim the second men’s 10m Air Pistol final last Sunday.

While delighted to be undefeated after the championship, Sampson believes he has yet to reach his best form.

“My scores could definitely be better. I’ve got plenty of work to do until the next event and make sure that I am well ahead of the others,” said Sampson.

In the women’s 3 Positions nomination event, Wollongong’s Maria Rebling bounced back after a disappointing qualifying event to win the gold medal.

Qualifying in fourth position, Rebling (434.4 points) maintained her composure in the closing stages of a tense final to defeat the South Australian pair of Emma Adams (431.9) and Katarina Kowplos (419.4).

Adams excelled in the kneeling section to open a 3.1 point lead over Rebling but slipped to be in third position behind Rebling and Kowplos after the prone.

Adams charged into contention with successive scores of 10.8 in standing but lapsed with a 9.1 while Rebling shot a score of 10.6 to retake control.

Despite her victory, Rebling lies in third position in the race for Olympic Games nomination after making a critical mistake in the qualifying round.

At the beginning of the prone qualifying section, Rebling thought she was in shooting mode but was in fact in sighting mode.

“Instead of pushing the red button, I pushed the green button and I thought I had started the match. I fired a 99 and I thought I was doing really well. It was a mistake I’ve not done before,” she said.

The rifle athletes will return to Adelaide on February 28 for the next stage of nomination events.

Shooting Australia