Victoria’s Penny Smith produced a world class personal best score to win the last women’s trap event when the Tokyo Olympic Games nomination series concluded at the Sydney International Shooting Centre today.
Smith blasted a personal best 47 from 50 targets to defeat Victorians Laetisha Scanlan (46) and Catherine Skinner (31).
Smith performed magnificently in all four qualifying rounds, but a gold medal victory had eluded her until today.
Smith was shooting a perfect round until the 34th target, and her final score of 47, if repeated at the Olympic Games, would be more than good enough to put her on the podium.
Laetisha Scanlan, a 2016 Rio Olympian and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold medallist, also shot magnificently in the final despite a season low 111 from 125 targets in qualifying.
Defending Olympic champion, Catherine Skinner, shot 115 targets in qualifying and placed 3rd in the final to elevate her to second position on the Olympic nomination scoreboard, twelve points behind Smith and just four points ahead of Scanlan after four events.
Smith’s highly consistent performance throughout the nomination series was a tribute to her resilience after overcoming narrowly missing selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“Missing Commonwealth Games selection was a big disappointment. But some things like that make you a better athlete and a better person,” she said.
Smith, from Bookaar in western Victoria, said the nomination series was an exhaustive process.
“It’s been a long journey,” she said.
“I just put everything on the line today, gave it heaps and I came out on top. I couldn’t think of a better way to finish,” she added.
In the men’s trap, Victoria’s Mitch Iles and NSW’s Tom Grice both shot 119 of 125 targets in qualification, with Iles going on to win the final.
Grice’s performance at this weekend’s event was enough to secure him second place on the Olympic nomination scoreboard just one point ahead of Iles. Fellow NSW athlete, James Willett, finished on top of the scoreboard 6 targets ahead of Grice.
The Australian selectors across all shooting disciplines will meet this week to determine which athletes will be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee for selection to the Tokyo team.
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