Persistent Penny Shows Olympic Promise

Tokyo Olympic Games team member, Penny Smith, gained an important psychological edge over New Zealand’s 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallist, Natalie Rooney, when winning the Queensland Clay Target Association’s women’s Trap final in a shoot-off in Brisbane today.

After the scores were tied at 42-all after 50 targets, Smith prevailed 2-1 in a tense shoot-off to claim the gold medal over her Kiwi Tokyo Olympic Games rival, with Queensland’s Stephanie Pile (33 targets) taking the bronze medal.

Earlier, Smith and Rooney were engaged in another shoot-off to determine the highest bib number for the final after they both shot 113 from 125 qualifying targets.

It was another blow for Rooney at the hands of Australian competitors as she was denied the Olympic gold medal by Australia’s Catherine Skinner in a nail-biting final at the 2016 Olympic Games.

With the Victorian border restriction preventing Skinner and fellow Tokyo Olympic team-member Laetisha Scanlan from competing in Brisbane, Smith relished the close tussle with Rooney and Pile who took an early lead over her more experienced rivals.

But Smith demonstrated her tenacity to claw her way back into gold medal contention before prevailing in the shoot-off.

“That was a great preparation for Tokyo. You can’t replicate that kind of pressure,” said Smith.

Rio Olympian, James Willett, endured a tough battle with his Tokyo team-mate Thomas Grice to win a gripping Men’s Trap final.

Competing in fading light against an uneven backdrop, Willett (39 from 50 targets) captured the gold medal after Grice (38 from 50 targets) missed downing his final clay which would have seen the pair enter into a gold medal shoot-off.

Victoria’s Nathan Argiro (30 from 40 targets) was placed third after earlier topping the qualification round.

The most impressive individual performance of the Shotgun event was Tokyo team-member Paul Adams who dominated the men’s Skeet final.

Competing at his home club, Adams downed the first 39 targets without a miss before completing the final with a world class score of 57 from 60 targets to defeat NSW’s Joshua Bell (47 from 60 targets) and WA’s Elie Lahoud (39 from 50 targets) taking the bronze.

“I am very happy with that performance. You are always hoping to hit a perfect score of 60 targets, but I think I got a little lazy towards the end,” said Adams.

New Zealand’s Chloe Tipple claimed a victory for the Kiwis when scoring an impressive win in the women’s Skeet final.

Tipple (49 from 60 targets) held her nerve to claim the gold medal despite the pressure from Australian Tokyo team-member Laura Coles (47 from 60 targets) with Queensland’s Cherie Reeves (39 from 50 targets) the bronze medallist.

In the Brisbane Cup 2 Rifle and Pistol competitions, Tokyo Olympic team-members Elise Collier, Elena Galiabovitch and Dan Repacholi overcame competing remotely via video to capture gold medals.

Collier, from Victoria, registered an impressive score of 250.9 points when winning the Open 10m Air Rifle from Tokyo team-mates, Jack Rossiter (249.7 points) and Katarina Kowplos (227.5 points).

Collier’s final score would have seen her earn the women’s 10m Air Rifle silver medal at the 2018 World Shooting Championships.

Her fellow Victorian, Elena Galiabovitch, was also impressive in the qualifying round and again in the final to win the 25m Sports Pistol.

In the final, Galiabovitch was in commanding form shooting 35 from 50 shots to defeat Queensland’s Civon Smith (26 points) with Australian Para Shooter Chris Pitt (15 points) in third position.

In the men’s 10m Air Pistol, Olympian Repacholi recorded an impresssive 241.4 points to defeat Alamdar Sastani (236.6 points) and Haurau Pilaniya (215.7 points).

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