Dane Sampson started Australia’s #GC2018 shooting campaign with a bang, clinching gold in a tense final of the men’s 10m air rifle competition.
Queenslander Sampson prevailed with a score of 245.0, edging out Bangladeshi Abdullah Hel Baki (silver) and India’s Ravi Kumar (bronze), while 16-year-old Aussie Alex Hoberg narrowly missed the podium and finished fourth.
Sampson had a distinct home ground advantage at the Belmont Shooting Complex.
“I pretty much grew up here,” Sampson said. “My mum was shooting here when she was pregnant with me, basically, literally on this range. It’s special, having it here,” he said.
Shooting in her first international final, Elena Galiabovitch claimed bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol. Galiabovitch showed nerves of steel to snare Australia’s first shooting medal, scoring 214.9 points.
“I feel great and worked so hard for this – it is a bit of a relief and I am a bit tired, but really excited and happy.
“I was really happy to be in the final. I haven’t been in an international final before so it’s an exciting experience and the crowd really spurred me on. Interestingly I didn’t get distracted by it.”
Indian teen sensation Manu Bhaker won gold with ease, finishing an astonishing 6.9 points clear in front with a Commonwealth Games record total of 240.9, while compatriot Heena Sidhu took the silver medal.
Victorian Aislin Jones, reached the women’s skeet finals after qualifying with the second-highest score but was the first shooter eliminated. Fellow Australian and defending champion Laura Coles was eliminated in qualifying.