As an Australian, I was brought up to believe that sport was in our blood, that it was our birthright and the natural order of things was that we were on top with daylight second, third and fourth.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
To help vary the sporting diet of The Roar and with the Olympic Games fast approaching, it is time we looked at the team for one of the lesser followed sports: the Shooting disciplines.
The Australian Olympic team will boast a compliment of 17 athletes who will compete in the 15 Olympic shooting events, spread across pistol, rifle, and shotgun.
The shooting events will be held at the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich, London. The 200-year-old complex will have four temporary ranges constructed for the Games.
The shooting team contains a mix of youth and experience, which is admirably confirmed by the selection of David Chapman (SA) and his daughter Hayley Chapman (SA) in the pistol events.
The Chapmans will make Australian Olympic history by becoming the first Australian father and daughter combination to compete at the same Olympic Games in any sport.
“There’s no better picture in my mind then representing Australia alongside the man I look up to most, I cannot describe in words the amount of excitement,” said 20-year-old Hayley.
Hayley will compete in her first Olympic Games in the women’s 25m pistol, while David will make his second Olympic appearance in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol. David first represented Australia in the 1997 Oceania Championships and went on to compete in the Games in Sydney in 2000.
The Chapman’s aren’t our only Olympic shooting family, with the husband and wife pairing of Russell and Lauryn Mark (VIC) also set to compete together for the first time at an Olympic Games.
Russell, whose stellar career has seen him win gold (Atlanta 1996) and silver (Sydney 2000) medals in the men’s double trap at Olympic level, will make his sixth Games appearance in London, while Lauryn will compete in her second team after finishing fourth at Athens in 2004.
Russell, along with dual Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond (Queensland) who has been chosen for his sixth consecutive Olympic Games, will equal the most Games appearances by an Australian in London.
Diamond, who made his Olympic debut in Barcelona 1992, has been at the forefront of men’s trap shooting for two decades now and will once again be a gold medal hope in London.
The Australian team features a several other athletes who have plenty of Games experience with Lalita Yauhleuskaya (VIC) competing at her fifth Olympic Games, Warren Potent (NSW) his fourth, and Daniel Repacholi (NSW) and Dina Aspandiyarova (VIC) their third. Clive Barton (NSW), Adam Vella (VIC) and Robyn van Nus (WA) will represent Australia at their second Games.
Potent, Balogh (NSW) and Vella (VIC) have all tasted Olympic success in the past with Balogh having soared to gold in the women’s trap in Athens, while Vella (2004) and Potent (2008) have both won bronze medals in their respective events of the men’s trap and men’s 50m rifle prone
The full Olympic shooting team is:
Dina Aspandiyarova (Cranbourne North, VIC)
David Chapman (Balaklava, SA)
Hayley Chapman (Balaklava, SA)
Daniel Repacholi (Nulkaba, NSW)
Lalita Yauhleuskaya (Berwick, VIC)
William Godward (Moonta, SA)
Warren Potent (Sydney, NSW)
Dane Sampson (Brisbane, Queensland)
Alethea Sedgman (Natimuk, VIC)
Robyn Van Nus (Attadale, WA)
Suzy Balogh (Sydney, NSW)
Clive Barton (Tamworth, NSW)
Michael Diamond (Gold Coast, Queensland)
Keith Ferguson (Sale, VIC)
Lauryn Mark (Hoppers Crossing, VIC)
Russell Mark (Hoppers Crossing, VIC)
Adam Vella (Keilor, VIC)