At the first international shotgun event for the Australian Team (outside of the Tokyo Olympics) since 2019, Australia’s Trap Mixed Teams of James Willett and Laetisha Scanlan, and Penny Smith and Mitch Iles have won the silver and bronze medals respectively with great team displays through some tough conditions in Cyprus.
Competing the day after the individual Trap events, the teams displayed world class performances in extreme weather conditions that even included snow fall. On the weather, Willet said “well it was the coldest i’ve ever fired a gun in, and i had snow landing on me” before adding “my hands were in a lot of pain during the first round and i’m glad it was all over in the end.” Scanlan added “that is honestly the coldest I have ever been. I’ve never shot in snow, i’ve never been to a gun club where it has snowed.” Smith and Iles hit 138 out of 150 targets to qualify for the semi finals in top position, with Scanlan and Willett hitting 135/150 targets to qualify in 4th place.
Thankfully weather conditions improved during the semi finals with Smith and Iles hitting a further 38 out of 50 targets, narrowly missing out on a place in the gold medal match by 1 target and claiming the bronze medal. Smith and Iles have a history competing in the Trap Mixed Teams where they equalled the world record together previously, and Iles joked “we’re good at setting world records i just managed to stuff the final up last time, but no this time was alright managed to get a medal so it’s pretty good. Lucky I had Penny to carry me through a bit.”
Scanlan and Willett won their semi final with a score of 42 out of 50 targets firmly securing their position in the gold medal match. In the gold medal match, both teams were tied on 5 points resulting in a sudden death shoot off against Turkey where Willett and Scanlan won the silver medal. Willett said “It’s good to be back on the road and good to be back competing. Really good to be out shooting the medal match today with Teash, we came away with the silver medal obviously and it was good to be back under that sort of competition environment.”
The Cyprus World Cup was an indication that the Australian Shotgun Team are looking to compete at the highest international level in 2022. The Australian Team will next head to the World Cup in Lonato, Italy in April.
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