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New generation of shooting for Australia

6 August 2016

SHOOTING: Australia will field the youngest competitors in three of the shotgun disciplines in the shooting competition at the Olympic range in Deodoro.

Aislin Jones, 16, is the second youngest member of the entire 421-strong Australian team and will contest the skeet, Mitchell Iles, 17, will stand alongside Adam Vella in the men’s trap, and James Willett, 20, is the pre- event favourite in the double trap.

It’s a changing of the guard for the sport in Australia, and many see it as a potential turning point.

The shooters themselves hope to inspire even more youngsters to pursuing an Olympic journey with their performances in Rio. 

“It’s the type of sport that it doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s a matter of how good you are,” Willett said.

“But it would be great if some people back home see us and think ‘that’s a sport I’d like to try’.

Mixing the youth with experience is essential in any sport, and shooting has done that well with five-time Olympian and Beijing bronze medallist Warren Potent, one of the favourites in the 50 metres prone.

Held inside a shooting hall modelled on the Sydney International Shooting Centre, Potent is excited about the growth in the sport in Australia and the prospects of the team to return to the medal winners' list, after a frustrating London campaign.

“I like the look of this team that’s for sure and I reckon there’s a few in this team that will surprise everyone,” Potent said.

When pressed to ‘name names’ the 54-year-old was a little cagier.

“I don’t want to jinx them or leave someone out,” he said.

The shooting competition commences on Day 1 (August 5) of the Games with Jennifer Hens contesting the 10 metre air rifle and Blake Blackburn and Daniel Repacholi in the 10 metre pistol.

Damian Kelly


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