Shooting star has a shot at Olympic glory

CHRIS Summerell has targeted the Rio 2016 Olympics but first of all the pistol shooter has the Nanjing Youth Olympics in his sights.

Tamworth schoolboy Chris Summerell is 
targeting the Rio Olympics. Photo: Barry Smith 280714BSF04

Tamworth schoolboy Chris Summerell is targeting the Rio Olympics. Photo: Barry Smith 280714BSF04

Summerell is the only Australian male pistol shooter to be selected to go to China next month for the games.

The shooter has been a Calrossy boarder for three years and trains at the Tamworth Pistol Club twice a week, but is a member of his home club the Tuggerah Lakes Pistol Club.

“My grandad found the pistol club and thought I might be interested,” Summerell said.

“The club members thought I had some natural talent and urged me to stick with it.” 

The club members were right.

It only took Summerell two years to win his first championship in the 10m air pistol. Two years after that he is pulling on a green and gold blazer with the Coat of Arms on it, every athlete’s dream.

In 2013 he was the NSW Men’s State Champion.

Summerell then backed that up by winning the Oceania Championships in Sydney, earning AUstralia a quota spot in the Youth Olympics.

The dead eye then had to win that quota spot, which he did.

Last month he returned from a trip to Suhl Germany for the Junior World Cup, the highlight of his career so far.

He shot five short of his personal best, which is 560 out of 600 and came 39th out of 90.

“My best shot in competition is 565,” Summerell said.

“That is in competition though.” 

Shooters don’t like to talk about scores shot in training or not in competition, but he is quietly confident he can match it with the best.

In China there will once again be 90 competitors with Summerell aiming for the top seven, who go on to compete for the medals.

“If I perform to my best and to what I have been training at I should go close to the seven.” 

Juggling a pistol and an HSC isn’t all that easy.

The year 12 student only gets to train for six hours a week, although will be looking for more as the Olympics draw closer.

“It is hard.” 

“I can’t really have a pistol at school.” 

While the Youth Olympics is the immediate goal a medal at the Rio Olympics is the dream.

Australian pistol shooting coach Vladimir Galiabovitch believes if he keeps improving and training there is a 90% chance he will make the Australian team according to Summerell.

“My real goal is not to win the Olympics or World Cup but just to perform well at international level.”