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PHOTO: David Chapman wins gold. (Getty Images: Julian Finney)

A history of shooting at the Olympics

Shooting has been at every Olympics since the first Games in 1896, except St Louis in 1904 and Amsterdam in 1928

It is one of nine sports that have remained on the program since the inaugural Olympics in Athens

The founder of the modern Olympic movement Baron Pierre de Coubertin was a French pistol champion

Only men competed in shooting events until 1972, after which women shot against the men. The men’s and women’s events were only completely separated in 1996

Australia’s first gold medallist in shooting was Donald MacKintosh, who took out the game shooting event at the 1900 Paris Olympics.

It was another 84 years before Australia claimed another podium finish, when 52-year-old Patti Dench took out the women’s sport pistol bronze medal in Los Angeles.

More recently, Michael Diamond (trap) and Russell Mark (double trap) won gold at Atlanta 1996, with Diamond defending his title four years later in Sydney.
Suzy Balogh won the gold medal in the women’s trap shooting at the Athens 2004 Games

Australia has not won an Olympic shooting medal since Warren Potent took out bronze in the men’s 50m rifle prone at Beijing 2008.

How Shooting Works at the Olympics:

  • There are 15 events across three disciplines – rifle, pistol and shotgun
  • There are three events in each for men, and two for women


  • Men: 10m air rifle; 50m rifle (three positions); 50m prone rifle
  • Women: 10m air rifle; 50m rifle (three positions)
  • Competitors fire shots at a 10-ring target, with scores based on how close the shot is to the centre of the target
  • The three positions are standing, prone and kneeling


  • Men: 10m air pistol, 25m rapid-fire pistol, 50m pistol
  • Women: 10m air pistol, 25m pistol
  • Scoring in pistol is the same as rifle events, with competitors aiming at a 10-ring target
  • Shooters must stand and use one hand, which is unsupported.


  • Men: trap, double trap and skeet
  • Women: trap and skeet
  • Shooters stand on designated stations and try to hit clay targets, which are released into the air on or after their command. They are launched from a machine that throws the targets at various heights, speeds and distances
  • Trap is one target per release, double trap is two targets per release
  • Skeet is a short range event where two targets are released from separate trap houses – high and low – situated at either end of a circle arc about 40m in diameter.
Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/olympics/rio-2016/olympics-australia/rio-olympics-2016-shooting-veteran-warren-potent-says-fifth-games-will-be-his-best-20160706-gpzon5.html#ixzz4Dgft8XUu 
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