Penny Smith shows great pre-Tokyo Olympic form

Victoria’s Penny Smith demonstrated she will be a major force in the women’s Trap at the Tokyo Olympic Games in July after an outstanding gold medal winning performance at the Yarra Valley Grand Prix today.

Smith (43 from 50 targets) scored a comfortable five target victory over her Tokyo Olympic Games team-mate, Laetisha Scanlan (38/50), with rising 20-year-old Alexis Preston (28/40) completing the podium placings.

Smith, who topped the Olympic nomination trials last year, held a slender one target lead going into the final 10 targets and was faultless with her final 10 shots to close the door on any late fightback from Scanlan.

It was Smith’s second gold medal of the weekend when she combined with fellow Tokyo Olympic Games team-mate Thomas Grice, to win the mixed Trap Pairs last Friday.

In the men’s Trap final, Victoria’s Mitch Iles upstaged Tokyo Olympic Games team members, James Willett and Grice, to claim the gold medal.

Qualifying second for the final behind Willett, Iles downed 43 of 50 targets in the final to overcome Grice (41/50) with Willett earning the bronze (32/40).

Iles, who represented Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, narrowly missed earning one of two men’s Trap quotas for the Tokyo Games during the Olympic Games nomination events last year.

In the women’s Skeet final, Tokyo Olympic team member Laura Coles had to withstand a strong challenge from Victoria’s Brittany Melbourne to capture the gold medal by one target in a thrilling final.

Melbourne opened a three target lead after the first 20 targets, but WA’s Coles pegged back her lead to level the scores after the completion of 40 and 50 targets.

However, Coles clinched the gold medal with her final shot to finish with 41/60, with Melbourne 40/60 and Bridget McKinnon 19/50 collecting the silver and bronze medals.

The men’s Skeet final saw Newcastle Lake Macquarie Clay Target Club member Frank Morris (49/60) claim victory over Mark Du Rose (44/60) and Josh Bell (35/50).

And Australian Para Shooting representative Scottie Brydon (109/125) was successful in the Para Trap event when beating Nigel Young (91/125) and Matt Tingate (88/125).

On the third and final day of the Adelaide Rifle Grand Prix at the Wingfield Rifle Range today, Elise Collier celebrated a second gold medal when she and fellow Victorian, Michael Davis, were triumphant in the Mixed 10m Air Pistol Pairs.

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