Two Adelaide school students will make their debuts in what is being heralded as Australia’s strongest ever shooting team to compete at a Commonwealth Games.
Veteran Olympic shotgun stars Michael Diamond and Russell Mark head the 29-strong team, to compete in Glasgow in July. Other recognisable names include Alethea Sedgman, who won a rifle shooting gold medal at age 16 in Delhi four years ago, and veterans Warren Potent and Lalita Yauhleuskaya.
But the team’s 10 debutants are also expected to make a strong showing, including South Australian rifle juniors Emma Adams, 15, and Jack Rossiter, 16.
The pair, who hail from the same Adelaide shooting club (Reynella Smallbore and Air Rifle Club), will have their own unique challenges, including juggling school, homework and part-time jobs around training.
Rossiter said it was helpful he and Adams were experiencing success together.
“We train at the same time and go to the same competitions, so we keep each other company and talk to each other when we don’t know anyone else there,” he said.
In an event like shooting, where mental composure is just as important as skill, Adams said she was hoping her nerves hold out as she takes the biggest step so far in her burgeoning career.
“Sometimes when I start I’m a nervous wreck and don’t know what to do,” the high school student laughed.
“But most of the time I pull it off.”
It’s a mentality even the most seasoned shooters will be adopting, with Diamond, 41, confident of claiming his fourth trap gold medal at his fifth Games, providing he focuses on his own performance.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist recently finished second behind India’s Manavjit Singh Sadhu at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup and will face off against him again in Glasgow.
“You’ve just got to go out there with your own game plan and the moment you take your eyes off your own prize you lose,” a self-assured Diamond told AAP.
“As long as I keep breaking those clay targets, there’s nothing they can do about it.”
Shooting Australia CEO Damien Marangon said current world rankings showed the team was better placed than it had ever been leading into a Commonwealth Games.
He said the team had a modest target of between three and six medals, given there were less medals on offer than in previous Games.
Most of the pairs events have been cut, reducing the total events from 36 to 19.
“We are fiercely focused on going to these Games to have a great result and we think we’ve picked the team that can do that for us,” he said.
The shooting events will be hosted at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre – a satellite venue near Carnoustie on Scotland’s east coast – and will run from July 25-29.
Pistol: Daniel Repacholi – men’s 50m (free), men’s 10m air; Bruce Quick – men’s 50m (free), men’s 25m (rapid); Blake Blackburn – men’s 10m air; David Chapman – men’s 25m (rapid); Lalita Yauhleuskaya – women’s 25m (sport), women’s 10m air; Hayley Chapman – women’s 25m (sport); Emily Esposito – women’s 10m air
Small bore rifle: Dane Sampson – men’s 10m air, men’s 3 position, men’s prone; Jack Rossiter – men’s 10m air; Michael Brown – men’s 3 position; Warren Potent – men’s prone; Emma Adams – women’s 10m air; Jennifer Hens – women’s 10m air, women’s prone; Alethea Sedgman – women’s 3 position, women’s prone; Robyn Ridley – women’s 3 position
Full bore rifle: Geoff Grenfell – Queen’s Prize pairs, Queen’s Prize individual; James Corbett – Queen’s Prize pairs, Queen’s Prize individual
Clay target: Russell Mark – men’s double trap, Tom Turner – men’s double trap, Adam Vella – men’s trap, Michael Diamond – men’s trap; Paul Adams – men’s skeet; Keith Ferguson – men’s skeet; Catherine Skinner – women’s trap; Laetisha Scanlan – women’s trap; Emma Cox – women’s double trap; Gaye Shale – women’s double trap; Laura Coles – women’s skeet; Lauryn Mark – women’s skeet.
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