Laetisha Scanlan (OH 2007) – Olympic Dreams Realised
Trap shooter, Laetisha Scanlan (OH 2007) and swimmer, Josh Beaver (OH 2011) will realise their dreams later this year when they get to pull on the Australian tracksuit at the Olympic Games.
For both Laetisha and Josh, this will be their first Olympics.
Laetisha just missed out on qualifying for the London Games – despite shooting an Australian record 74/75 targets midway through 2012. She won her first World Cup in 2013 when she took out the Al Ain event in the UAE and has gone from strength-to-strength since. The following year saw Scanlan secure three top-10 finishes on the 2014 World Cup circuit which included winning World Cup gold in Tucson, USA.
Having won 2010 Commonwealth Games trap pairs gold in Delhi she returned to win individual gold at Glasgow 2014. Scanlan benefited by the new rules that will make their Olympic debut in Rio which see scores reset for the final and gold and bronze medal playoffs. Scanlan was five points behind teammate Catherine Skinner after the qualification round but shot 14 of 16 targets to make the gold medal match where she won by a single shot.
Josh currently swims under head coach of Nunawading Swimming Club, Rohan Taylor. After narrowly missing the 2012 London Olympic team by .2 of a second, Josh was forced to spectate the sport for 8 months, through unfortunate injury and illness. Josh, 2 years on in April 2014, found himself a selected member of the Australian Swim Team which competed at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Having qualified in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, Josh went on to have the meet of his life, claiming silver in the 200m backstroke, bronze in the 100m backstroke and silver as a member of the 4×100 medley relay, along with 8 personal best times. To cap off this breakout season for Josh, he finished with a world ranking of 9th in the 200 Backstroke.
Josh narrowly missed qualifying for the 100 metre backstroke event earlier in the Australian Championships and was determined to ensure the same result would not eventuate in his pet event the 200m. He finished second in the event behind world champion, Mitch Larkin, however his time was under the required qualification, ensuring a ticket to the Games.
Laetisha and Josh were both honoured to receive an OHA Outstanding Young Alumni Award (Sport) in 2015.
We wish both the very best of luck in Rio De Janeiro.