Three Team Canada shooting athletes to take aim at Paris 2024

Three athletes will take aim at fulfilling their Olympic dreams at Paris 2024 as members of Team Canada’s shooting team.

Shannon Westlake and Tye Ikeda will compete in the women’s and men’s 50m rifle three positions, respectively. Michele Esercitato will compete in the men’s 10m air pistol. All three athletes will make their Olympic debuts this summer in Paris after winning their events at the team selection trials in late May.

Westlake found the podium at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games, taking home the bronze medal in the women’s 50m rifle three positions–a result that secured an Olympic quota spot for Canada. While Paris 2024 will be her first Olympic Games, Westlake has no shortage of experience, having competed in three Pan Am Games, including her first major multi-sport games at Toronto 2015.

It has been 24 years since Canada last had an entry in any women’s rifle event at the Olympic Games. Westlake will be the first female rifle shooter to represent Team Canada since Sharon Bowes and Cari Johnson at Sydney 2000.

Shannon Westlake poses with her bronze medal. The background of the photo is blurred.
Shannon Westlake of Canada wins the bronze medal in the Women’s Rifle 3 x 20 finals during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Photo by Darren Calabrese/COC

“When I won the bronze medal and secured Canada a Paris quota spot at the 2023 Pan Am Games by shooting a perfect 10.9, it was extremely overwhelming – not only was I excited about my amazing performance; but I also felt the joy and honour of winning a quota sport for my event – an event that Canada had not obtained a quota spot in for over 20 years,” said Westlake.

“Then, when I won the Olympic trials, it was a rush of excitement, relief, and even surprise – it feels so surreal to be living my Olympic dream of winning the nomination to represent my country at the biggest sporting event in the world. It has been a very long climb to get to this point and I could not have done it alone. I have so many people who have supported and continue to support me throughout this journey. I am so grateful and honoured to be able to represent Canada this summer in Paris.”

Ikeda finished just shy of the podium at Santiago 2023 with a fourth place finish in the men’s 50m rifle three positions. He went on to earn a quota spot for Canada for Paris 2024 by taking silver in the event at the Continental American Championships in April 2024. Team Canada has not been represented by a male rifle shooter at the Olympic Games since Cory Niefer at London 2012.

Tye Ikeda looks down at his rifle while competing at the Santiago 2023 Pan Am Games
Tye Ikeda of Canada competes in the Men’s Men’s Rifle 3 x 20 finals during the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on Friday, October 27, 2023. Photo by Candice Ward/COC

“I am very fortunate to be competing for Team Canada in Paris at my first Olympic Games,” Ikeda said. “The past few years of training have been incredibly valuable, and to see my Olympic dream come to reality feels surreal. I could not have gotten to this point on my own and am thankful for the support I have received from so many, including the Future Olympians Fund program. The program saw my potential, brought me in, and became a factor in my success on my journey to the Olympics.”

Esercitato will make his Olympic debut in Paris after defeating Santiago 2023 gold medallist, Tugrul Ozer, in the 10m air pistol event at the Canadian team selection trials in May 2024. Born in Italy, Esceritato began representing Canada internationally in 2023. 

It has been 32 years since Team Canada had a competitor in a men’s Olympic pistol event, the last being Rodney Colwell at Barcelona 1992.

Shooting will take place July 27 to August 5 at the Chateauroux Shooting Centre venue. 

Michele Esercitato competes in the 10m air pistol while wearing large headphones.
Michele Esercitato competes in the 10m air pistol. Photo courtesy of the Shooting Federation of Canada

Team Canada shooters at Paris 2024: 

Michele Esercitato (Calgary, Alberta)

Tye Ikeda (Calgary, Alberta)

Shannon Westlake (Keswick, Ontario)