Shooting Tokyo 2020 team

The Australian shooting team trains for the Tokyo 2020 games (credit Shooting Australia twitter)

Australia is sending a 15 strong shooting team to Tokyo 2020, with strong medal chances which Australians will hit the take their best shot.

There are 15 gold medals on offer in the Tokyo 2020 shooting competition, offering medals in pistol, rifle and shot gun events. For all your Olympic coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

Shooting is one of the most challenging sports, the skill and the accuracy required is incredible. Shooting has an obvious stigma, however, it should not, this is a sport just like any other. With so many Australians’ competing in the Shooting and with potential medallists, this will be a sport not to miss.

Shooting as a sport has developed over centuries. From the moment guns were invented, gun sports were also created. The earliest recorded sport shooting event was in 1477 in Bavaria. Ever since then, sport shooting has been a key event of the upper classes.

Olympic sport shooting will consist of three different events, the rifle, the pistol, and the shotgun. Within these events, there will be specific events such as distances and types of weapons used. With shooting being one of the oldest sports at the games and steeped in tradition, it is a sport to tune into during Tokyo 2020.

Tokyo 2020 Rules

With 15 potential medal opportunities, shooting is a crucial sport for many countries medal tally aspirations. Unlike most other sports the men’s and women’s shooting events are the same. The men’s and women’s events are completed under the same rules and from the exact same distances.

Rifle Events

For the 50-metre men’s and women’s rifle events, competitors must position themselves 50 metres from the target in kneeling, prone and standing positions. The target will be set 0.75 metres from the floor.

For the medal rounds, scores are done in decimal points, where each shot can earn a potential 10.9 points, competitors can shoot up to 45 shots. 

In the 10-metre air rifle event, the centre of the target is positioned 1.4 metres above the floor. For the medal rounds, competitors can shoot up to 24 shots. As with the rifle, the maximum point on each shot is 10.9.

After the 12th shot, the lowest-ranked competitor is released from the competition. Competitors are then let go after every two shots until the gold and silver medals are determined on the final shot.

Pistol Events

In the 25-metre rapid fire pistol events, the target is positioned 1.4 metres above the floor. For medal contention, competitors will shoot eight groups of five-shots.

For the final round, competition moves away from a point system to a hit or miss system. A score of 9.7 or more results in a hit. Anything less than this results in a miss.

Similar to the air rifle, competitors are eliminated by round. After the fourth round, the lowest rank competitor is eliminated. Another competitor is eliminated after each round until a gold medal is awarded.

In the 10-metre air pistol, the target that is 1.4 metres above the floor. In the medal round, competitors can shoot up to 24 shots, with each shot having a maximum of 10.9 points.

The medal round starts with two series of five shots. Each of these must be shot within 250 seconds. 14 shots are then taken on command. After the 12th shot, the competitor with the lowest score is then eliminated until the gold medallist is crowned.

Shotgun Events

Trapshooting is another key shooting event. In this event, competitors will use a shotgun. Athletes shoot from five different stations intending to hit orange clay traps thrown from in front of them. In the final round, athletes can shoot up to 50 targets.

After five rounds, one from each station, the lowest-ranked athlete is eliminated, and this continues after each round until a gold medal is awarded. Points are not given for this event. Instead, leaders are determined based on a tally of traps destroyed.

The skeet shoot is the final event of the shooting. Competitors will once again shoot at orange clay targets. Targets come from areas on the left and right. The left area is called the high house, and on the right is called the low house. In the medal round, athletes can shoot up to 60 targets.

For the final round, competitors will shoot doubles from stations three, four and five; the competitors will have to complete two rounds. Once two rounds are complete, the lowest-ranked athlete is eliminated. Like other events, an athlete will be eliminated after each subsequent round until a gold medal is awarded.

Why to Watch

Shooting is a sport heaped in tradition, with competition leading back to the original modern Olympics in 1896. Although shooting has some negative connotations, these athletes deserve your full respect. To see the intense concentration required for this event is incredible.

Shooting is a sport that has undergone more changes than any sport in history. In 1896 competitors were still shooting live birds in the skeet and trap shooting. Today athletes are primarily using air guns to destigmatise the connotations with war and death that come with shooting events.

Australia won medals during a period of dominance in the 90s and early 2000s. Like many sports, shooting was sustained and hugely helped by a massive investment in Olympic sport in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney games.

Australian Shooting History

In the 1900 games in Paris, Australian David Mackintosh won a gold and bronze medal for pigeon shooting. Unfortunately, since that date, the International Olympic Committee ruled that these were non-Olympic events, a travesty for Australia’s Olympic history.

It took almost 100 years of competition before Australia managed another Olympic medal in shooting. In the 1984 Los Angeles games, Patti Dench won a bronze medal for the 25-metre pistol shooting. To break this drought was a massive moment in Australian shooting and inspired Australia’s domination in the ’90s.

Shooting superstar Michael Diamond set an Olympic record in his gold medal effort at Atalanta. Two days later, more medals were won by Australians, with Russell Mark winning gold and Deserie Wakefield winning bronze in the trap shooting.

Michael Diamond managed to do the double at Sydney by winning gold once again. Russell Mark took home a Sydney silver medal for the pistol shooting. As well as a bronze in the air pistol for Annemarie Forder in the event.

Rio 2016 featured a fantastic moment with Australian Catherine Skinner winning gold in the Women’s Trapshooting. It was a tremendous effort in an event that went down to the final two athletes from Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, Skinner will not be competing in Tokyo 2020.

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Australian Competitors for Tokyo 2020

Australia will be sending over a 15 strong squad to Tokyo 2020 with the hope to bring back medals in bulk. With Australia sitting 16th on the all-time shooting medal tally, the following competitors will want to move Australia up the medal tally.

Men’s 10m air RifleDane Sampson
Alex Hoberg
Men’s 50m rifleJack Rossiter
Women’s 10m air RifleElise Collier
Women’s 50m rifleKatarina Kowplos
Men’s 10m air pistolDaniel Repacholi
Men’s 25m rapid fire pistolSergei Evglevski
Women’s 10m air pistolDina Aspandiyarova
Women’s 25m pistolElena Galiabovitch
Men’s trap James Willett
Thomas Grice
Men’s skeetPaul Adams
Women’s trapLaetisha Scanlan
Penny Smith
Women’s skeetLaura Coles

Medal Favourites

Tomasz Bartnik: Bartnik is a Polish shooter who specialises in the air rifle event. Shooting out of the Legia Warsaw gun club, Bartnik will go into the Tokyo 2020 games as the favourite for the 50m event. Having qualified as the gold medal winner at the World Championships in 2018, Bartnik will be the competitor to beat at Tokyo.

James Willett: The Australian has seen an emmense growth in his skills since not medalling at the men’s trap event at Rio 2016. Since that event, Willett has won medals in every one of his competitions. At the Oceanic championship in Brisbane 2017 and the Commonwealth championships in 2017, Willett won silver and bronze, respectively. At the 2019 world Championships at Leonato del Garda, Willett managed gold in the mixed trap pairs. Willett is a medal favourite and a possible gold for Australia.

Laetitia Scanlan: Another Australian, Scanlan has done everything in international shooting except an Olympic medal. Scanlan will have no better chance to win gold than Tokyo 2020. Scanlan was won gold at the Commonwealth Championships, the Commonwealth Games, and the world championships in recent times. It is hard to go past Scanlan as the favourite for the women’s trap event.

The Shooting events will get underway from the 24th of August live from the Asaka shooting range. Finals will occur every day, meaning every day will be a must-watch for shooting fans. The final date of shooting will be Monday the 2nd of August as the men finish with the 50-metre rifle and 10-metre air pistols.

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