Australian Skinner bags gold in women’s trap
Australia’s Catherine Skinner was rewarded with gold for her perseverance in a tense women’s trap shooting final at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Deodoro.
Ranked 13th in the world, the 26-year-old first-time Olympian got the better of New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney in the gold medal match, hitting 12 of her 15 targets to edge her opponent by a single clay and became Australia’s second Olympic women’s trap champion, after Suzanne Balogh in 2004.
Competing at her third Games, the USA’s Corey Cogdell won the second bronze medal of her Olympic career after a shoot-off with Spain’s Fatima Galvez, this after each had shot 13 of their 15 targets in their tussle for the medal.
The Melbourne-based Skinner, who has been competing since 2006, booked an automatic ticket to the final from the six-shooter semi-finals. Rooney joined her there after a sudden-death shoot-off with Cogdell, but could not quite match Skinner in the battle for gold.
There has been lots of tears and tantrums in the build-up to this. I’m sure there are plenty of people back at home saying, ‘I told you so.’ You just never know.Catherine Skinner Australia
Understandably elated at winning her country’s third gold medal of Rio 2016, the Australian struggled to describe her emotions: “I cannot really because it has not quite sunk in. It has been one of these dreams that has come along, and you just hope for the best and keep chipping away. But, at the end of the day, in this sport it all comes down to on the day. Any one of the competitors here could have won, and today just happened to be my day.”
Holding back the tears, Skinner added: “It’s been a rough sort of process, because I keep on being the bridesmaid. So I’ve got several silvers, several bronzes, and finally I’ve got the gold. There has been lots of tears and tantrums in the build-up to this. I’m sure there are plenty of people back at home saying, ‘I told you so.’ You just never know.”
Defending Olympic champion Jessica Rossi of Italy, who set a world record in winning gold at London 2012, could do no better than sixth, the police officer crashing out in the semi-finals after missing five of the 15 targets.
World number one Ray Bassil fared no better. Having turned up with high hopes of supplying Lebanon with its first gold medal in Olympic history, the 27-year-old failed to make the final cut. She was in good company, with Finland’s Satu Makelanummela, the champion at Beijing 2008, also missing out on the fight for the medals.