• Lalita Yauhleuskaya of Australia (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
As shooting athletes take aim at the Rio Olympics, 25m Sport Pistol athlete Lalita Yauhleuskaya took one step closer to securing a sixth Olympic berth.
Sarah Leach

25 Feb 2016 - 3:49 PM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2016 - 10:18 AM

Lalita Yauhleuskaya has taken one step on the plane to Rio following her outstanding display in the Women’s 25m Sport Pistol Event at the weekend.

Australia’s best shooting athletes rose to the top at the Australia Cup 1 event at Sydney Olympic Park, held as a selection for pistol and rifle athletes eyeing off a ticket to the Rio Olympics.

Victorian Yauhleuskaya led the qualification with a world-class score of 585, before holding her nerve through a tense semi-final to qualify for the final. In the final she came up against young gun and Rio contender Elena Galiabovitch (Parkdale, VIC) but secured a resounding 8 to 0 head to head final win 

The brilliant result meant that Yauhleuskaya met the required standard and automatically qualified to be nominated for the Rio Olympics.

But, Australia has just the one quota for the women’s 25m Sport Pistol event at the Rio Olympics so Yauhleuskaya has a nervous wait to see if another athlete can replicate her performance at the last trial in Sydney, just two weeks away on March 4th – 6th. And if not, her performance automatically qualifies her for nomination to the Australian Olympic Committee and she can plant both her feet on that plane to Rio.

National High Performance Pistol Coach Vladimir Galiabovitch said shortly after Yauhleuskaya’s win how he pleased he was with this level of performance.

“This score is a wonderful result and outcome for all of the hard work Lalita has been putting in. This score would get her into any Olympic or World Cup final which is exciting for us as we focus on her preparation for Rio”.

If selected to the Rio Olympics it will be Yauhleuskaya’s sixth Olympic Games having competed twice for Belarus (1996 & 2000).

The next and final Rio Qualification Event is Australia Cup 2 from the 4th to 6th March in Sydney.