Olympic Games veterans Dan Repacholi and Dina Aspandiyarova have shelved any retirement plans and will commit to another Olympic cycle after finishing a credible eighth in the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Teams Shooting event day.
Repacholi, who is competing in his fifth Olympics and Aspandiyarova, who is attending her fourth, have now shifted their sights on the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The team were placed sixth after the qualification round where the top eight pairs moved through to the medal round qualification match.
While they equalled the sixth highest score of 380 points in the second round, they were ultimately relegated to eighth place on a countback.
Prior to the Tokyo Games, Aspandiyarova had indicated she would retire from international Shooting after these Games.
She commenced her international Shooting career 30 years ago in Tokyo when she represented her native Kazakhstan at the Asian Games.
“I initially thought my first Games were in Japan and my last would be in Japan 30 years later. But I’ve never been to Paris,” she said with a smile.
“While I was standing and shooting with my heart jumping out of my throat, I thought ‘no I don’t need this anymore’. But I really want to go to Paris, and it is only three years away now,” she added.
Repacholi said he and Aspandiyarova relished the new Mixed Teams event and hopes to contest the event in Paris 2024 and with the men’s 10m Air Pistol individual event.
“I definitely want to go to Paris. I’ve got two weeks to lay out a plan while I’m in quarantine, and then I’ll sit down with the coaches, Shooting Australia, and my wife to work out how we can make it work.
“I’m very excited. I know with the right work that I can do it. I belong to be here (at the Olympics).”
Repacholi and Aspandiyarova will now head home where they will be joined in post-Tokyo Games quarantine by Rifle athletes Alex Hoberg and Elise Collier after they and their fellow Mixed 10m Air Rifle Teams competitors, Dane Sampson and Katarina Kowplos, did not progress beyond the first qualification round.
Hoberg and Collier finished 19th with a score of 623.6 points, while Sampson and Kowplos were placed 22nd with 623.1 points.
Sampson said scores need to be consistently high to press for medal calculations.
“There just wasn’t enough scores in the deep tens. It’s all well and good to have 10.5’s and 10.6’s, but if you are going to have a couple of 10.1’s without having some 10.9’s and 10.8’s, then the result is going to be what it was,” said Sampson.
“You’ve got to get the deep (score) stuff because someone is going to.”
Sampson and Kowplos will now focus their attention on their final Games events, the men’s and women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions matches later this week.
“I’ve got a few days until my next event to clear my head,” said Kowplos