Young Stars Shine on the World Stage
Media Releases | Friday, Feb 26, 2016
Australia’s youngest and brightest stars have delivered an ominous warning to the rest of the world at the Qatar Shotgun Open in Doha. With the final Rio selection event starting in less than a week, these young athletes have demonstrated they are the real deal and capable of upsetting some of the sport’s biggest names.
Headlined by the performance of 16 year old Mitchell Iles (Hurstbridge, VIC), Australia had four junior athletes finish in the top four of the Men’s Trap events . Iles, competing against almost 100 of the best open male trap shooters from around the world, showed a steely determination and skill beyond his years to finish qualification on 122 targets and equal first position. Iles went on to qualify for the Bronze medal match only missing a medal in a tense shoot-off, to finish fourth. His powerful performance at 16 years of age is a significant milestone for this junior and sends a strong message that he is still very much aiming for a ticket to Rio.
Shotgun National High Performance Coach Valeriy Timokhin was delighted with the performance of this young star.
“Mitch has shot a world class score here in Doha against most competitors who are double his age. For a Junior to perform like this, it shows just how good this kid could be and certainly sets us up for a fascinating final selection event in Sydney next week”.
Confirming Australia’s world class depth in Men’s Trap was the wonderful results of three Juniors who secured Silver, Bronze and fourth in the Men’s Junior Trap event. In a hotly contested Junior Event 18 year old Jack Wallace (Yering, VIC) beat brothers Adam Bylsma (15, Bundaberg QLD) and Sam Bylsma (19, Bundaberg QLD) to ensure Australia took home more medals from this International Event.
The results of these four Junior Athletes sets up an intriguing battle against two of Australia’s greatest Trap athletes of all time in Adam Vella and Michael Diamond, as they fight for only two Olympic spots at the final selection event at Aus Cup 2 in Sydney from the 4th – 6th March.
The Qatar Open proved to be a great success for the Australian Shotgun Team who won five medals in total, including the medals won by Catherine Skinner (Womens Trap, Bronze and Stephanie Pile (Women’s Jnr Trap, Bronze).
Media Contact: Damien Marangon, CEO Shooting Australia
Below - Junior Trap Men Podium, Australian Trap Men team practice with National Coach (Left to Right - M Coles, S Bylsmas, A Bylsma, V Timokhin, M Iles and J Wallace) and Trap Men Top 5