Berwick’s Evglevski gunning for Paris ticket

Sergei Evglevski has taken a big step forward since his first Olympic campaign 390461 Images: JONTY RALPHSMITH.

By Jonty Ralphsmith

Berwick shooter Sergei Evglevski is well-positioned to qualify for the Paris Olympics later this year thanks to excellent performances at qualifying events in Brisbane and Sydney.

The 2021 Olympian has come first in all three of the qualifying events so far, with formidable scores of 579, 584 and 585 giving him a handy lead on other Australians competing for the 25-metre rapid fire event.

Evglevski’s event consists of two halves, with each half involving three ‘time’ series.

Shooters first fire five shots at a target across eight seconds, twice, before doing the same thing across six seconds, and then four seconds, with that making up a half.

There is a maximum of 10 points per shot, with points therefore being calculated out of 600 as participants take 60 shots.

Effectively, it means that in 45 of Evglevski’s 60 shots when he scored 585, he hit the bullseye.

Evglevski will shoot in Brisbane again in early March and at Rio De Janeiro, with the outcome of those events set to determine whether he maintains first position and gets a ticket to Paris.

The 26-year-old shoots out of the Yarra Pistol Club in Lysterfield and is coming off a strong 2023 which addressed his major shortcoming in Tokyo: mindset.

Entering his first Olympic campaign having not competed internationally since 2019 due to the pandemic led to him shooting well below his best.

After competing with the world’s top 10 prior to Covid-19, and winning silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Evglevski finished 17th at Tokyo with an underwhelming score of 572.

“If I’m successful in getting to Paris, what I can take away from Tokyo is definitely some discipline,” Evglevski said.

“Being my first Olympics, there was a lot of sleepless nights and I doubted myself in the sense of – am I ready to be here? Can I perform? Have I done the training?

“I didn’t perform the best I could but I was proud I gave it my all and didn’t give up.

“I can’t change the result but that attitude is definitely something I can take to Paris.”

The son of six-time Olympian Lalita Yauhleuskaya, Evglevski’s maturation as a shooter since 2021 is exemplified by his results on the international circuit in 2023.

Demonstrating his confidence to rise against the world’s best, Evglevski’s average score was higher internationally than domestically last year.

A silver medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in January-February 2023 in Jakarta set the tone for an excellent season.

Evglevski was also part of the Australian team which won a quota for the Olympics at the Oceania Championship in October-November – the right-handed local coming second overall behind teammate Scott Anderson.

“My training now will be very technical,” Evglevski said.

“I’m focusing on the physical aspect of the shooting building up strength.

“And my aim and technique of pulling trigger as smoothly as possible.

“Shooting and especially in my event, you need to build up your strength and resistance-building strength.

“The gun itself might not be too heavy but when you’re holding it out in one hand and it’s 1.5-2kgs of weight and you’re trying to be as steady as possible and trying to aim and hit something smaller than apple in a certain amount of time, it’s difficult.

“And also cardio, because you want to be able to bring your resting heart rate down so that’s not taking over.”