Inside Sport - - FOOTBALL -

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.

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