Olympic History: Olympic Debutante
Coach: Nick Melanko
Year Born: 1987
State Born: Western Australia
Laura Coles’ grandfather gifted her father a shotgun and it wasn’t long before she was following her dad to the range, enjoying some daughter-dad one on one time.
Coles learned how to shoot at the Busselton Clay Target Club and says Michael Diamond’s gold medal-winning performance at the Sydney 2000 Olympics is her most memorable sporting moment and her biggest challenge, transitioning from American to Olympic Skeet.
"Changing from American Skeet (Australia's domestic form of Skeet) to Olympic Skeet was the biggest challenge I've faced in my career," she said.
"There weren't any coaches in Western Australia that could help me learn it, so together my dad and I had to figure out how to shoot with the aid of some useful information we found on the internet."
Coles climbed the international ranks and represented Australia for the first time at a World Cup in 2011 and in 2013 won her maiden Oceania gold medal in skeet.
Steady progress ensued and Coles won skeet gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The West Australian shot 14 out of 16 targets in the final to defeat Wales’ Elena Allen for the gold.
Coles was unable to defend her Commonwealth Games title four years later, finishing ninth at the Gold Coast.
In 2017 the Western Australian won her second Oceania gold medal in the skeet and turned her attention to Tokyo selection.
Coles won the 2019 Commonwealth title but trailed Rio 2016 Olympian Aislin Jones by a point before the final selection series.
She pulled off a qualifying score of 114 from 125 targets which was eight points higher than Jones and put herself in the pole position for team selection.
Last weekend was the last competition for the Shooting Australia Olympic Qualifying series. Was over the moon to finish in first place over the series of 4 events. Thanks to @thereal_nicko1 for being my rock and coach, Rod Laidlaw from @osaaustralia for making sure I had ammo for these events, Mauro Perazzi, @perazziofficial, and @perazzi.australia for their continued support ❤️