The journey to Australian team selection for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games commences when over 30 of Australia’s best men’s and women’s trap and skeet shooters contest the Commonwealth and National Championships at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club between January 13 and 18.
The Championships are two of four events for shotgun shooting athletes to win Olympic team selection.
Pistol and rifle athletes will each contest separate Olympic selection events in February and March before the Australian Olympic shooting team is announced in late March.
Following international competitions in 2018 and 2019, 25 trap and 11 skeet athletes registered Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS), which confirm their eligibility for Tokyo Olympic Games selection.
Among the trap athletes competing at the Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club are 2016 Rio Olympic Games women’s gold medallist, Catherine Skinner (Vic), and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Laetisha Scanlan (Vic).
Men’s trap shooters Adam Vella (Vic), James Willett (NSW) and 2019 Oceania Championship gold medallist Mitchell Iles (Vic) are seeking back-to-back Olympic team selection as is women’s skeet shooter Aislin Jones (Vic) and 2019 Oceania Championship skeet gold medallist Paul Adams (Qld) and Keith Ferguson (Vic).
“We are very fortunate to have an immense pool of talented trap and skeet shooters who have all registered MQS’s. And, they’re going to need to bring their best individual performances to gain Olympic team selection over the next three months,” explained Shooting Australian National High Performance Director, Adam Sachs.
“Australia has won 15 Tokyo Olympic Games quota positions across all shooting disciplines, and six of these will be filled by men’s and women’s trap and skeet athletes. We will also field two teams in the trap mixed team’s event from the individual trap athletes selected to our Olympic team,” said Sachs.
In the men’s events, skeet shooter Luke Argiro (Vic) and younger brother, trap shooter Nathan Argiro, will be vying for selection, while skeet shooter Aislin Jones and younger sister trap shooter Renae Jones will also be looking to make it an Olympic family affair.
In the women’s skeet event, Brittany Melbourne (Vic) will be looking to emulate twin sister, Ellie Cole, who has won six Paralympic Games gold medals in swimming at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games and who is looking to add to her haul at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Shotgun athletes with MQS’s who are eligible to compete for Olympic selection at the Commonwealth and National Championships are;
Men’s Skeet: Paul Adams (Qld), Luke Argiro (Vic), Joshua Bell (NSW), James Bolding (Vic), Keith Ferguson (Vic), Frank Morris (NSW).
Women’s Skeet: Laura Coles (WA), Aislin Jones (Vic), Bridgette McKinnon (SA), Brittany Melbourne (Vic), Cherie Reeves (Qld).
Men’s Trap: Nathan Argiro (Vic), Thomas Armstrong (Vic), Adam Bylsma (Qld), Michael Coles (NSW), Daniel Di Pietro (Vic), Thomas Grice (NSW), Craig Henwood (Vic), Mitchell Iles (Vic), Todd Malone (Vic), Matthew Schiller (NSW), Adam Vella (Vic), Jack Wallace (Vic), James Willett (NSW).
Women’s Trap: Breanna Collins (Qld), Kiara Dean (Vic), Charlie Hudson-Czerniecki (Vic), Renae Jones (Vic), Antonia Loizos (SA), Stephanie Pile (Qld), Georgia Pistone (Vic), Alexis Preston (Vic), Laetisha Scanlan (Vic), Catherine Skinner (Vic), Penny Smith (Vic), Lisa Smith (SA).
Greg Campbell – PRISM Strategics Communications