Victoria’s Elise Collier relied on a cool head and steady hands to produce a last gasp gold medal victory in the Mixed 10m Air Rifle final in the Adelaide Grand Prix at the Wingfield Rifle Range today.
Collier, aged 22, ignored a sore neck as a result of a midweek minor car accident to tally 248.8 points to defeat South Australians Katarina Kowplos (248.0 points) and Alex Hoberg (228.5 points).
In a closely fought final, Collier had to survive a shoot-off with Hoberg to enter the all-women gold medal round against Kowplos.
Kowplos led by a slender 0.4 points going into the final two shots, but Collier jumped to a match-winning lead after firing a near-perfect score of 10.8 while Kowplos managed 8.8.
Collier then fired her lowest score of the final, a 9.5, with her last shot but it was good enough to claim the gold medal by 0.8 points.
The Grand Prix is the first time Collier has competed against her Tokyo Olympic Games team-mates since the outbreak of COVID-19 a year ago.
On the few occasions Collier has competed against other athletes in Melbourne, they were socially distanced but the Adelaide Grand Prix was contested under normal competition settings.
“It was a quite an odd situation having others shooters on your shoulder, but I managed to get use to it,” said Collier.
Collier’s gold medal winning performance today also strengthened her claims to be named in Australia’s Mixed 10m Air Rifle Pairs team when the event is staged for the first time at the Tokyo Olympics in July and August.
Dane Sampson earned his second victory of the Grand Prix when comfortably winning the 50m Prone Rifle event.
Sampson (623.3 points) outclassed Michael Nicholas (614.1 points) and Jack Rossiter (613.2 points).