As we countdown to the opening ceremony of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, we are taking a look at the athletes who are competing in some of the lesser profile sports, in particular the Australian shooting team.
In this second of three parts (check out Part 1 here) we will profile the Australian pistol athletes who will be shooting for gold in Rio.
The Australian Olympic team has five members who are competing in the pistol disciplines. The team will shoot in five events, namely, 25m Pistol – Women, Air Pistol – Women, 50m Pistol – Men, Air Pistol – Men and Rapid Fire Pistol – Men,
Lalita Yauhleuskaya and Elena Galiabovitch will represent Australia in both the 25m and Air Pistol events.
Russian-born Lalita Yauhleuskaya has been competing since 1980. This will be Lalita’s fourth Olympic Games representing Australia, with two appearances for Belarus. She became an Australian citizen in 2001 and began representing Australia in 2004.
Lalita has appeared in many international events since her debut in 1986. Her many podiums include a bronze at Sydney 2000 in 25m Pistol.
Dr. Elena Galiabovitch came to Australia as a four year old from Belarus. Elena started shooting in 2005 but only started competing seriously two years ago. Under the tutelage of one of Australia’s leading coaches, who happens to be her father, Elena is preparing for her Olympic debut.
Her first international event was in 2005, then again in 2009, but did not compete internationally again until 2015. Elena earned her spot on the team on the back of a gold medal at the Oceania Championships in 2015.
Australia’s representative in the 50m Men’s Pistol event will be Daniel Repacholi. Daniel will also compete in the Men’s Air Pistol.
Daniel has represented Australia at no less than 55 international competitions. Daniel first started shooting in 1996. Rio will be his fourth Olympic appearance. Daniel announced his arrival on the shooting scene in 2000 when he claimed all of the junior pistol records. When not shooting, Daniel works in the mining industry operating heavy machinery.
Shooting beside Daniel in the Men’s Air Pistol events will be Blake Blackburn.
In contrast to Daniel’s vast experience, Blake will be making his Olympic debut. Blake began shooting at age 12. Selected for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games after winning his first senior national title in 2014, Blake also won bronze and silver at the 2013 Oceania Championships and followed that with gold in 2015.
In the Rapid Fire Pistol event Australia will be represented by David Chapman.
David has been competing since 1984, with his international debut in 1997. This will be his third Olympic Games. He won a Rio 2016 quota place for Australia at the 2015 Oceania Championships. David has exhibited great consistency right throughout 2015 and 2016. This has seen in good stead and won him selection for in the team for Rio.
In Part 3 of this series we will preview the rifle athletes who are Rio bound, including current World Champion Warren Potent.