Donald MacKintosh won the first Australian gold medal in shooting, a feat that took almost 90 years to be recognised. MacKintosh won the game shooting event at Paris 1900, but there was confusion at the time about what events were included in the Olympic program, which competitors were competing, and for years the event was considered an archery event. Eventually it was acknowledged that MacKintosh won the game shooting event and finished third in the live pigeon shooting. Australia then waited until Los Angeles 1984 to win another medal - a bronze in the inaugural women’s sport pistol by 52-year-old Patti Dench, the oldest medallist of all the competitors at that Games.
After nearly a century between shooting gold medals, Michael Diamond won the trap and Russell Mark won the double trap at Atlanta 1996. Diamond became a dual Olympic Champion in the trap competing at home at Sydney 2000. Mark finished second in the double trap after a shoot-off with the eventual winner. At Athens 2004, Suzy Balogh, in the women’s trap, became the first Australian woman to win a gold medal in Olympic shooting.
Between 1996 and 2008 Australia collected bronze medals at every Olympics. In Atlanta 1996 Deserie Huddleston won a bronze medal in the women’s double trap. Annemarie Forder finished third in the air pistol at Sydney 2000. Adam Vella won a bronze medal in the men’s trap at Athens 2004. In 2008, Warren Potent claimed Australia’s only shooting medal, a bronze in the 50 metres small-bore rifle (prone position). His medal was the first by an Australian in any Olympic rifle-shooting event.
Michael Diamond and Russell Mark returned for their sixth Olympic Games at London 2012 while David and Hayley Chapman became the first father-daughter combination to compete in any sport at the same Olympic Games for Australia.
Diamond put himself in a strong position in the men's trap as he equalled the world record and set a new Olympic record in the qualifying rounds, hitting 125 of 125 targets to lead by one shot heading into the final. He shot 20 of 25 targets in the final before going down in a bronze medal shoot off to finish just out of the medals in fourth.
Athens gold medallist Suzy Balogh also put herself in contention for the medals in the women's trap as she made the final as the third ranked shooter before going on to finish sixth.