Australian shooter Catherine Skinner has produced another superb international performance to win the silver medal in the women’s trap at the World Cup in Cyprus, while dual Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond finished fifth in the men’s trap.
Fellow Australians Laetisha Scanlan and Suzy Balogh finished 7th and 25th respectively in the women’s event, with qualifying scores of 69 and 65.
23-year-old Skinner, who broke into the world’s top 10 after winning a silver medal at the last World Cup, repeated her effort with a fine display in qualifying that saw her hit rounds 24, 22 and 24 for a total of 70 targets from 75.
In the semi-finals Skinner once again showed poise beyond her years to sweep through to the gold medal match, hitting 12 of the 15 targets in the single barrel discipline, but she fell just short of gold as Italian Silvana Stanco prevailed in the dual for the top of the medal dais.
Skinner’s result re-affirmed her current standing within the sport’s top 10, but also moved her closer towards her debut Commonwealth Games selection in Glasgow next year.
Scanlan, who claimed gold in the previous World Cup in a groundbreaking moment for the sport in Australia, began with rounds of 23 and 22, before her final round of 24 left her just one target out of the final.
Australian International Shooting Limited CEO Damien Marangon said Skinner’s performance was another positive step in the right direction.
“Catherine has now produced back-to-back silver medals on the World Cup circuit which is a superb performance,” Marangon said. “She is transferring some of her domestic scores into strong international results.
“For two of our athletes to secure top ten finishes again in a World Cup shows that the program is heading in the right direction.”
Michael Diamond entered the second day of competition in a tie for ninth place on 48 targets, but reeled off rounds of 24, 25 and 25 to qualify for the final in second position on a score of 122.
Under the newly adopted ISSF rules all six competitors in the semi-final start again on zero and Diamond hit 12 of his 15 single-barrel targets to rank fifth, missing the shoot-off for bronze by just one target.
It was another solid performance from the 41-year-old against a top quality field that saw reigning Olympic gold medallist Geovanni Cernogoraz (CRO), 2004 Olympic gold medallist Alexey Alipov (RUS) and Olympic finalist Josip Glasnovic (CRO) all make the semi-final.
Diamond has now finished 4th, 5th and 7th in the three World Cups contested in 2013, with the final event being held in Granada, Spain next month.
The world’s top athletes will then contest the 2013 World Championships in Lima, Peru in September where Diamond will attempt to win his fourth world championship title in the men’s trap.
Australia’s athletes across the rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines are all currently competing for selection on the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games team.
The selection period runs until April 22 2014, with two athletes to be chosen to contest each of the 19 Commonwealth Games shooting events.