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une 21, 2012 RT
That's my team
TRAP shooter LAC Matt Stokes is
understandably disappointed he is not
actually competing at the Olympic
Games in London -- but that won't
quell his enthusiasm for supporting his
colleagues who have qualified.
Come July 28 when the shoot-
ing program begins, LAC Stokes, of
10SQN at RAAF Base Edinburgh,
plans to have his eyes glued on the
television. C'mon Aussie, c'mon.
Two of the sport's best-known
names -- Michael Diamond and Adam
Vella -- beat him for the two available
spots for Australia.
"They are both genuine chanc-
es to win gold in London," LAC
Despite both being over 40, they
continue to command places in the
world's top 10. Both have held the
world's No. 1 spot.
Diamond is the world's most suc-
cessful clay target shooter, having
already won two Olympic gold med-
als, four world championship titles and
a brace of Commonwealth Games gold
medals in a career of more than 30
LAC Stokes, at 22, is one of the
new kids on the block but he has
steadily climbed the rankings the past
And when he settles back in his
armchair to watch the Games on TV,
he can do so with a sense of satisfac-
tion because he knows he helped the
team get there.
Until late last year, Australia was
only guaranteed one spot in the clay
target competition in London.
But when LAC Stokes finished sec-
ond at the Oceania Championships in
Sydney in late November, not only
was it his best result, he snared a sec-
ond qualification for the team.
"To be able to contribute to the suc-
cess of the team in such a big way was
a big moment in my shooting career."
LAC Stokes was not surprised to
miss out on the Games team to two
such well-performing shooters.
Although shooters have longer
careers than the average sportsman
(Diamond has declared he hopes he
has two more Olympics ahead of
him), LAC Stokes obviously has age
on his side.
With the focus on the Olympics,
there are several months of down-
time ahead. He will use that time to
train "and hopefully improve enough
to give myself a realistic chance
of making the team for the 2014
Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,
Scotland, and the 2016 Olympic
Games in Rio de Janeiro".
To Page 23
SUM OF A GUN: LAC Matt
Stokes ... age is on his side.
ON THE WAY UP: FLTLT Melissa Hall midway through a set of a pull-ups at the Australian regional crossfit games in Wollongong in May. Inset,
on the victory dais: the top three teams at Wollongong qualified for the world titles.
Photos: Andi Back
WILL someone remember to remind
FLTLT Melissa Hill to pack her bathers
when she goes to the US next month?
She's not going there on a holiday,
mind you, but you can't be too careful.
FLTLT Hill is a member of the
Crossfit Townsville Tropic Thunder
team that will contest the world cross-
fit games in Carson, California, from
July 13 to 15.
If you think crossfit is a solitary
sport people just do in the gym, think
At last year's world titles, 11,000
spectators turned up -- and this year's
competition is already a sell-out.
When this newspaper went to
press FLTLT Hill really was on holiday,
soaking up the sun in Europe.
But one of her three Army team-
mates, CAPT Ally Muller, said the team
was heading into the unknown.
"They can throw anything at us,"
"Last year they threw in an ocean
swim and I remember reading that
appropriate swimwear as no one really
expected to be swimming.
"We are fighting for the title 'the fit-
test on earth' so we should be expect-
ing the unexpected."
Full story, Page 23
-- Page 22
With a new
run in the US
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