Back with a bang, Smith claims Gold in Poland
Saturday 18 April 2015
2012 London Paralympic bronze medallist Natalie Smith (Meadowbrook, QLD) has claimed the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing title, at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup in Szczecin, Poland.
A champion on and off the field, Smith has returned to Shooting, after two seasons, not only making two finals at the World Cup, but also beating the best competitor in the field, Slovakia’s 32-year-old Paralympic gold medallist Veronica Vadivocova.
Smith secured the gold medal by a margin of 1.5 points, just 0.6 of a point behind the World Record set by Vadivocova.
Smith had also made the 10m Air Rifle Mixed prone final match yesterday, after shooting a personal best score of 631.1, in a relatively new event for her.
Smith has been training incredibly hard, after a tough year, following the birth of her son, multiple major surgeries to fix injuries, and a gruelling four-month stay in hospital.
Smith spoke with Shooting Australia following the medal presentation, describing her excitement at coming back strong after a long break.
“I was happy to have made the prone final yesterday. It gave me the confidence I needed from the break I have had from Shooting,” she said.
“I was tense in the final, but kept telling myself to hold it together and keep shooting good shots. I didn’t let the screen distract me, so I just kept going until the end. That’s when I turned and looked at the screen and almost burst into tears.”
ACGA funding boosts next generation of shooting stars
Thursday 16 April 2015
Ten of Australia’s future shooting stars have been awarded $3,700 each (totalling $37,000) by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA), under the body’s NextGEN AUSComGames Squad Program.
Recent confirmation of ongoing financial support from the ACGA will support almost all athletes in the young squad to compete at the 2015 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior Cup, in Suhl, Germany, from 26 June to 2 July.
The ACGA has funded elite junior athletes including promising junior shooters every year since 1996 through the NextGEN AUSComGames Squad Program (previously known as the Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Program).
The NextGEN AUSComGames Squad Program is designed to assist junior athletes to gain international competition experience so that they understand the conditions and environment which they will face as seniors; and to assist those junior athletes who have the potential to be selected in future Australian Commonwealth Games teams.
Australian shooters have established a great reputation at the Commonwealth Games, with the last edition in Glasgow recording an outstanding eight medals (six gold and two bronze).
ACGA Chief Executive Officer, Perry Crosswhite, said, “As well as preparing athletes for the next Games, the ACGA has always looked to Australia’s representation at future Games and provided our promising junior athletes with funding support to enable them to continue their sporting careers. So many times promising athletes need funding support when they are at the junior level.”
World Cup Silver for 11-time-Paralympian Kosmala
Tuesday 31 March 2015
Veteran Paralympic athlete, Libby Kosmala (Klemzig, SA) has pulled off an astounding silver-medal performance at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup in Great Britain, yesterday.
Still showing her expert prowess in the sport, the 11-time-Paralympian shot a world-class score of 411.8 during the qualification round, and cemented her strong position in the Air Rifle Standing final match, ahead of Slovakia’s World Champion, European Champion and Paralympic Champion Veronica Vadoviceva.
During the tough final, Kosmala maintained her dominance for the first half, after which she suffered a spasm, costing her the lead, to finish on a total of 200.7.
Vadoviceva then gradually built on her advantage, and went on to win the title by 5 points. The bronze medal went to British woman Lorraine Lambert.
This is a bitter-sweet success for the Australian team, which is mourning the loss of fellow team-mate Ashley Adams (Blackall, QLD), who was tragically killed in a quad-bike accident on his farm, earlier this month.
The remarkable 72-year-old grandmother said she was very happy winning the silver medal and hoped there would be more to come in 2015 and 2016.
Coles fires against World’s Best
Saturday 28 March 2015
Glasgow Commonwealth Games skeet champion Laura Coles (Hocking, WA) has narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Al Ain, UAE.
Competing in her first ever semi-final at an ISSF World Cup, the 27-year-old exercise physiologist shot 71/75 targets, recording 23-25-23 across three rounds of qualification, to go into the semi-final in third place, amidst a line-up of the best in the world.
In a hotly contested qualification, triple Olympic gold medallist Kimberly Rhode (USA), who was tipped to be a favourite, was edged out of the final line-up in a shoot-off against Italy’s Olympic champion Chiara Cainero.
Coles shot 11 targets in the semi-final to secure a spot in the bronze medal match against Italy’s Katiuscia Spada, who proved too strong, winning the medal by five targets.
Diamond and Scanlan inspire Federal Parliamentarians
Friday 27 March 2015
Dual Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond (Fingal Bay, NSW) and Commonwealth Games Champion Laetisha Scanlan (Berwick, VIC) represented Shooting Australia as guest speakers, at the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting forum, hosted on Monday 23 March within Parliament House in Canberra.
The new group, co-chaired by Victorian National Party Senator Bridget McKenzie and Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, aims to promote shooting sports and provide a voice for Shooting Australia within the Federal Government.
In introducing the two high-profile athletes, Senator McKenzie, said how inspired she was by their sporting performances.
“Michael, you are one of Australia’s sporting legends, and a champion of your sport. Incredibly, you could be going to your sixth Olympic Games next year,” Senator McKenzie said, as she welcomed Diamond to speak.
Arguably one of the world’s best known shooters, Diamond said that his sporting career achievements have humbled him.