Sampson and Collier to enter Tokyo Games Staging Camp on a golden note

Queensland’s Dane Sampson and Victoria’s Elise Collier ended their pre-Tokyo Olympic Games competition schedule when capturing the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs gold medal on the final day of the Wingfield Grand Prix in Adelaide today.

With two points awarded to the pairing scoring the highest aggregate points after each singular firing round, the match winner is the team which first accumulates 16 points.

Sampson and Collier peeled off 10 consecutive points with five round wins midway through the contest to ultimately claim a 16-12 gold medal win over the brother and sister pair of Jack and Tori Rossiter.

Tokyo team-members, Alex Hoberg and Katarina Kowplos, snared the bronze medal when defeating Victorians Michael Davis and Olivia Cartwright 16-4.

Australia will field two 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs teams at the Tokyo Olympics and the selectors are yet to finalise the ultimate combinations, however the victory by Sampson and Collier will strengthen their claims to be named as an Olympic pairing.

The Rossiters proved to be formidable gold medal match opponents after breaking their Australian 10m Air Rifle Mixed Pairs qualifying record.

The Rossiters registered 420.3 points to surpass their old record of 419.4 points by 0.9 points, while Sampson and Collier qualified second for the gold medal final with 418.6 points, well clear of Hoberg and Kowplos (413.9 points).

In a high quality gold medal match, the Rossiters jumped to an early 6-2 advantage, before Sampson and Collier found their rhythm to march to a 12-6 lead.

The Rossiters then fought back to narrow the score to 12-10, but Collier and then Sampson each registered a near perfect score of 10.8 points with one of their final two shots to seal victory.

The Australian Rifle athletes will join fellow Tokyo Olympic Pistol and Shotgun team members in Brisbane next Sunday for a 14-day pre-Tokyo Staging camp prior to the Opening Ceremony on July 23.

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