Aussie pair keep shooting in the family
Australian shooter David Chapman came to the Olympics hoping to notch a personal best but admits he has been more concerned about his daughter, also a member of the shooting team.
Chapman, 47, taking part in his second Olympics in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol, is father to 20-year-old Hayley Chapman, who featured in the women’s 25m pistol at London’s Royal Artillery Barracks.
The pair, making history as the only father-daughter combination to compete in the same Olympic Games for Australia, even have accommodation on the same floor in the athletes’ village.
“I guess as a father I’m more worried about her than myself,” he told AFP on Thursday. “She’s still improving and has got her life ahead of her while I’m on the downhill side,” said Chapman senior, who is one of Hayley’s coaches.
“The experience has been wonderful, a learning curve for me too, I suppose being a father and trying to balance that — trying not to coach but just be there,” said Chapman after the first stage of qualifying for his event.
“It’s been really good and it’s such a blessing and a privilege and I thank God for the chance,” said Chapman.
It is the first time the pair have competed at such a high-profile event together, although they have shot at the same events in Australia.
Student Hayley took up shooting after enjoying going to the events that her father was competing at and at the age of 15 she competed at her first national championships where she finished third in the air pistol.
She has previously spoken about how her father encouraged her to take up shooting and says she has learned a lot from watching how he trains and deals with the pressure of competition.
“She’s got inspiration a bit from me,” admits David, who spends most of the year running his family farm in Hoyleton in South Australia, balancing his day-to-day commitments with his shooting career.
“But hopefully she’s drawing more inspiration from herself within and from above. She certainly has her own goals but they can change from one year to the next. You never know where we’re going to go.”
David Chapman, who finished 20th in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 25m rapid fire pistol, is in 18th and last position after the first stage of qualifying. The top six shooters from qualifying advance to Friday’s final.
Hayley finished 34th in the women’s 25m pistol.© AFP 2013