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Australian Shooting Team sets sights on Rio

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Australia’s shooting team will have its final chance to gain Olympic qualification spots this week as they compete in the Oceania Continental Championship at the Sydney International Shooting Centre at Cecil Park, in Sydney.

Heading into this continental qualifying event, Australia has so far won four quota places for the Rio Games and has the opportunity to seal another 15 places across the six days of competition (November 25 - December 2).

About 200 athletes from eight nations are expected to compete, with competitors representing Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and New Zealand.

Competition commences on Friday (November 27) at 9:00 am with the qualification round of the men’s and women’s 50m Rifle 3Position and women’s 25m pistol. Australian record holder Dane Sampson (Oakden, SA) is well-positioned to win the quota in 3P Men, while Victorian Lalita Yauhleuskaya will spearhead the women’s 25m pistol charge.

Yauhleuskaya, if selected on the Australian team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, will be making her sixth Olympic appearance and fourth for Australia (she competed for Belarus in 1996 and 2000).

Shooting Australia CEO Damien Marangon said Australia will be ‘Aiming for Gold’ and looking to maximise the home-ground opportunity.

“This is a great opportunity for us to get Australians to the Olympics and for our aspiring Olympians to perform when it matters,” Marangon said, ahead of the final Rio qualifier event.

Besides the Oceania Continental Championship, an additional 58 Grand Prix entries have entered, making a total of 250 individuals with 342 starts.

Australia will field the largest team, with 95 competitors, followed by New Zealand with 58 and Papua New Guinea with 13.