Sampson wins gold with final shot

Queensland’s double Olympian, Dane Sampson, pulled off two miraculous final shots to claim his second successive gold medal in the men’s 10m Air Rifle final at the Olympic Games nomination trials at the Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide today.

In a dramatic finish, Sampson trailed 18-year-old South Australian Alex Hoberg by 1.6 points with two shots remaining.

Sampson, who represented Australia at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, held his nerve to fire off two near-perfect scores of 10.8 while Hoberg could only manage scores of 10.1 and 9.8 – his only score below 10 in the final.

With the difference between the pair 0.9 going into the final shot, Hoberg fired first and grimaced in frustration knowing his score of 9.8 had left the door open to Sampson.

When Sampson leap-frogged him with his second score of 10.8, Hoberg threw his head back in despair as he knew Sampson had claimed the gold medal by a mere 0.1 point.

Sampson finished with 250.3 points ahead of Hoberg (250.2) while Jack Rossiter (228.0) claimed the bronze medal.

“I knew I was behind going into the final series and that I needed two good shots to have a chance. It’s not over until the final shot is fired and that’s how it panned out,” said Sampson.

A disappointed Hoberg said; “I told myself to shoot some 10’s and you will be fine. By saying that, and not saying shoot some 10.9’s, I lost my drive and motivation.”

Earlier, Sampson shot an improved qualifying score compared to the first Olympic nomination event yesterday and leads the men’s 10m Air Rifle nomination table by a slender two points.

With event qualifying scores counting in the race for Olympic selection, Sampson leads the points table with 1270.7 points ahead of Hoberg (1268.7) and Rossiter (1267.7).

“Generally, I’m happy today but I know that I am capable of more,” said Sampson.

Jack Rossiter’s younger sister, Tori, bounced back after her silver medal yesterday to claim gold in the second women’s 10m Air Rifle nomination event today.

Going into the final as the second highest ranked athlete, Rossiter was a model of consistency to score 248.8 points to defeat Wollongong’s Maria Rebling (246.1) and Katrina Kowplos (223.3).

“Yesterday, I felt a bit nervous going into the first of four competitions, and today I think I learned from that experience,” said Rossiter.

“I handled the mental side of my preparation a bit better and Petr (coach Petr Kurka) helped me with a few technical points as well.”

After claiming the gold medal, Rossiter (1262.5) has opened a handy 4.7 point lead over Victoria’s Elise Collier (1257.8) and Kowplos (1251.6).

“I’m not focusing on where everyone else is placed because you can get caught up with that. I’m glad the first two competitions are over, and I’m in a good position at the moment,” added Rossiter.

The first men’s and women’s 50m 3 Positions Olympic nomination trial will be held at the Wingfield Range on Tuesday.

Shooting Australia