Shooter Iles sets sights on Rio after Diamond dumped
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Teenager Mitch Iles will shoot for Australia at the Rio de Janeiro Games following the disqualification of double Olympic champion Michael Diamond for drink-driving and firearms offences.
Diamond, who won back-to-back trap golds at the Atlanta and Sydney Games, had been selected ahead of Iles but the sport's national governing body cancelled that after an Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) executive hearing last Thursday.
Iles, 17, won an appeal against his non-selection at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who referred the matter back to Shooting Australia (SA) last Friday.
SA defended its decision to select 44-year-old Diamond, who had his firearms licence suspended after being arrested in the wake of a domestic dispute in Nelson Bay, New South Wales in May.
"However, due to the ineligibility of Michael Diamond to be nominated under the AOC selection and nomination criteria, Shooting Australia have nominated Adam Vella and Mitchell Iles for selection to the shooting section of the Australian Olympic team," SA said.
Iles' team mate Vella won a bronze at the 2004 Athens Games but the Melbourne schoolboy has outshone his senior colleague at recent international events.
"The last guy as good as Mitchell at 17 was Michael Diamond,” Russell Mark, who won the double trap gold at Atlanta for Australia, told local media last month.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)