Shooter Kiara Dean aims for national selection

By Andrew Johnston

KIARA Dean had a near perfect 2019.

The Echuca shooter travelled the world to represent Australia at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) world championships and the junior world cup, claimed a category win at the state titles, and success at seemingly every shoot she took part in.

The ISSF is the governing body for all Olympic shooting disciplines.

But despite her incredible break out year, Kiara is far from content as the calendar rolls in 2020.

This week she shoots in three disciplines at the ISSF Australian championships as a member of the Victorian ladies team, a week-long event at Newcastle's Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club – including Olympic trench, the same category to be staged at the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo later this year.

“We have two individual events, each shooting 150 targets, followed by our mixed team events, where we shoot 75 targets,” she said.

“During the individual events we can shoot a qualifying score, which for me is 107 of 150, which makes me eligible to be selected as a member of the Australian women's team to go to the world championships.”

Newcastle is a Shooting Australia event, meaning her performance is not only an opportunity to potentially earn a spot on the World Championship team it could start her down the road to Tokyo.

“Shooting Australia look closely at performances at events like this in their selection for the Olympics, though this is just one of a few events where they will be making those decisions,” Kiara added.

“How you shoot definitely has an impact, so it makes the competition even stronger.

“Every single person is going to this event is giving it their best and seeing where that can take them, so you have to be at the top of your game if you are going to have any success here.”

While Tokyo may not be a priority on this young shooter’s agenda – but is surely the dream – she is in Newcastle to shoot her way back to the Australian team for the world championships, just like 2019.

An experience, she said, that made her a far better competitor.

“It definitely helped me to improve,” she said.

“The experience and the expertise you pick up from people – the extra skills and ways you can make yourself a better shooter – you develop those skills when you are around the best competitors and in turn it makes you so much better.

“My goal is to shoot a score, simple as that,” she said.

“If I can get that score again and give myself a chance to go to the worlds, it will be huge for me.”

And if she can produce, then exceed, the level she has in the past, Tokyo might not be too far away.

But with her feet firmly on the ground Kiara will enter Newcastle and other Shooting Australia events this year with the green and gold her target – regardless of where she gets to wear it.