Australian Shooters seek more international events for 2024 Paris Olympic cycle

Australia’s Olympic Shooting campaign ended today with all three remaining competitors unable to progress to the finals on the last day of competition.

Sergei Evglevski enjoyed an improved stage two of the men’s Rapid Fire Pistol to be placed 17th in his Olympic debut posting a score of 572 – 10 points off the top six finals position.

In the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions qualifying, Dane Sampson (1162 points) and Jack Rossiter (1160 points) finished 27th and 29th.

Despite the disappointment and challenges faced by COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past 16 months since the Australian Shooting team was chosen, the Olympic campaign has lit of burning fire of desire for Evglevski.

“I’m really hungry for more. Sometimes I wish there was a redo button but I’m glad there isn’t because I’ve learnt so much from this and I’m definitely going to go forward,” said Evglevski.

“Overall, it was a great Olympics and my first Olympics, and definitely not my last one,” he said.

“I’m going to come back stronger for sure. It was a lot harder than I expected. But now I will learn from it, and it will give me so much more knowledge for the next one.

“A lot of people keep telling me, my coach and my parents, that you can’t jump higher than your head, so I had to come here to do what I can do and not chase anything more and keep going forward,” he added.

Evglevski is eager for the opportunity to travel internationally once again to compete in World Cup and World Championship competitions.

Prior to the Olympics, Evglevski’s last international competition was the World Cup event in Rio in August 2019.

“Hopefully we can have some World Cups and World Championships next year. I’d be happy to quarantine every time. I just want to get out there and compete, compete and compete,” he said.

Sampson is another who lamented the lack of international competition in the lead-up to Tokyo.

Apart from participating in the competitions themselves, Sampson said international events provide athletes with important mental stimulation plus the opportunity to test various performance strategies leading into major events such as the Olympic Games.

“International competition has definitely been missing. It’s a struggle to go from home to one of the world’s biggest competitions,” said Sampson, now a three-time Olympian.

“It (competition) needs to be close and regular. It’s hard to create that out of nothing. The further you go along in your career, you need more experience,” he said.

“It’s already a difficult situation being so far away from the main shooting environments, and this (the pandemic travel ban) has exaggerated it tenfold,” added Sampson.

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