Aussies in quest for Continental glory21 November 2013
SHOOTING: Sydney is gearing itself to host the 2013 Oceania Shooting Continental Championship, an event run once every two years. To be held at the 2000 Olympic Games legacy venue, the Sydney International Shooting Centre will welcome about 230 athletes, with over 400 starts expected.
Athletes from seven nations will compete in this world-class centre, with shooters representing Australia, Czech Republic, Fiji, French Polynesia, Japan, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
Some of the biggest names in Australian shooting, including Olympians Adam Vella (Keilor Downs, VIC), Lalita Yauhleuskaya (Berwick, VIC), Michael Diamond (New Castle, NSW), Russell Mark (Hoppers Crossing, VIC), Suzanne Balogh (Cecil Hills, NSW) and Warren Potent (Parramatta, NSW), will take to the range as Australia goes head to head with the other competing nations - the largest defending team being the Kiwis.
The competition will be fierce, and Australian International Shooting Limited CEO Damien Marangon is very keen for Australia to dominate the leader board at the Oceania Championship.
"This event is crucial for our athletes in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games and we want them to get into the habit of winning,” Marangon said.
Australia’s team contains a mix of experience and new talent, with 15-year-old Emma Adams (Reynella, SA) set to make her debut Oceania Championship. Australian ranked number one in Women’s 10m Air Rifle, Adams has maintained her excellent form this season. She is in a strong position to win a quota place for Australia for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014.
Defending 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Alethea Sedgman (Natimuk, VIC) is back from an injury time-out and is already ranked first in Australia in Women’s Rifle 3 Position. Sedgman will be looking to gain selection into the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games squad.
World number seven in Women’s Trap Catherine Skinner (Mansfield Park, VIC) will be setting her sights on another victory, to cap off her list of international accolades this year, after winning two silver medals at World Cup events and a gold medal at the World Universiade Games.
Fellow team member, Laetisha Scanlan (Berwick, VIC) will also be looking to add to her mix of medals from earlier on in the season where she won gold at the Qatar Open and gold at the Shotgun World Cup in Al Ain, UAE. Scanlan is currently ranked 12th in the world in Women’s Trap.
Among the other Australian athletes competing at the Oceania Championship are a few family members. Blackburn brothers Blake and Nathan (Bellbird, NSW) will compete in pistol events across the competition. Shepparton (VIC) father and daughter pair, Hannah and Bruce Quick will also be lining up in the pistol events; while former Olympians, husband and wife duo, Russell and Lauryn Mark (Hoppers Crossing, VIC) will compete in the shotgun discipline.
- The event is a qualifier event for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
- The Oceania Championship has four quota places available for the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The events where quota places will be available are: YOG Men’s 10m Air Rifle, YOG Women’s 10m Air Rifle, YOG Men’s 10m Air Pistol and YOG Women’s 10m Air Pistol.