At previous Games, shooting has been the sleeping medals giant of the Comm program, behind only swimming and athletics for total medals awarded. It had 36 gold medals available at Delhi 2010. Host nation India fired to 30 shooting medals, including 14 gold, which was the boom result that rocketed it to second place behind Australia in the overall medals standing. A reasonable change, at least to the outsider, has pretty much halved shooting’s medals: where there were singles and pairs medals awarded for every event, now there are only individual medals to be won. The exception is the full bore rifle Queen’s Prize event, a multi-day competition. This gives shooting 19 gold medals to be won here.
Australia’s 29-strong team features some familiar stars in Olympic shotgun heroes Michael Diamond and Russell Mark. Diamond, 42, is looking to win gold for the fifth consecutive time at the Games, a streak stretching back to 1998. Pistol shooters David and Hayley Chapman make history as the first father-daughter combination to compete at the Comm Games for Australia – two years after achieving the same distinction at the Olympic Games.
Shooting has a deep talent pool across the Commonwealth, but expect Australia to improve on 2010, when rifle ace Alethea Sedgman, returning here, won our only individual gold medal.
Michael Diamond is aiming for gold at five consecutive CommonwealthGames.