Australia claimed three quota positions for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after teenagers Alex Hoberg and Victoria Rossiter and Elena Galiabovitch tasted victory at the Oceania Shooting Championship in Sydney today.
The trio took giant steps towards fulfilling their Tokyo 2020 selection ambitions by winning their respective events with Minimum Qualification Scores at the Sydney International Shooting Centre.
Coming into the men’s 10 metres air rifle final ranked third, Hoberg displayed nerves of steel to secure an Oceania junior record of 248.7 points and narrowly beat Jack Rossiter by a margin of 1.1.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dane Sampson rounded off an all-South Australian podium when clinching the bronze medal with 226.2 points, ahead of the New Zealand trio of Owen Bennett, Adrian Black and Shaun Jeffery.
Hoberg, 17, has been identified as a rising shooting athlete since winning selection for Gold Coast 2018, where he was deprived of a medal after losing a shoot-off to India’s Ravi Kumar to finish fourth.
The Wingfield Rifle Club shooter represented Australia at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, where he again narrowly missed out on a medal by placing fifth.
Hoberg stated he came into the Oceania Shooting Championship relaxed and confident of winning and claiming a Tokyo 2020 quota position.
"I had been shooting well in training, but I think I tried too hard in the qualification round," he said.
"I kept telling myself that I could win and just do what I’ve been doing in training."
10m Air Rifle Women Results are in!— Shooting Australia (@ShootingAus) November 3, 2019
🥇Tori Rossiter | 246.8
🥈Elise Collier | 245.7
🥉Emma Adams | 223.3
Tori Rossiter secures another quota for Australia as well as setting the Junior and Senior Oceania Record! Congratulations to all three of our athletes who medalled! pic.twitter.com/j8ELcuFEN6
He added: "Once I got into the lead after the first round in the final, my confidence rose and I managed to lead all the way.
"It’s a great relief to get a quota."
Victoria Rossiter, 17, overcame a nervous start to overhaul fellow Australians Elise Collier and Emma Adams in the women’s 10m air rifle final.
Her winning score of 246.8 points was also a Oceania senior and junior record.
Collier finished second with 245.7 points, while Adams came third with 223.3
Galiabovitch, meanwhile, appears destined for her second successive Olympic Games appearance after comfortably winning the women’s 25m pistol final with a total of 26 points.
In another all-Australian medal clean sweep, Alison Heinrich captured the silver medal with 18 points after surviving a shoot-off with Civon Smith.
Action in Sydney is due to continue tomorrow.
Finals are scheduled to take place in the men's 10m air pistol and men's and women's skeet events.