Victorian youngster Penny Smith has started off her international year on an excellent high by winning the Junior Women’s Trap title at the 2014 Qatar Open, and James Grice (Cobbitty, NSW) has won gold in the Junior Men’s Trap.
Despite very windy conditions, 18-year-old Smith held her composure amidst an international quality field, and stormed to the lead to clinch the gold medal on 64 targets.
A rising junior with the Rio Games in her sights, this gold medal win puts Smith in a strong position in what is an important year to gain world-class experience.
Smith’s triumph follows on from victories at the 2013 Oceania Continental Championship in Sydney, where Smith won the silver medal in the Junior Women’s Trap event. She bettered that with a gold medal in the Junior Girl’s Trap event at the 2013 Australian International Shooting Limited (AISL) Youth Nationals.
Around the same time last year, Smith was placed seventh at the 2013 Qatar Open, and finished just outside the finals in the women’s trap event on a score of 68 targets.
Women’s Trap events have concluded at the range, with four Australians finishing up in the top 16. The best placed athlete was Catherine Skinner (Mansfield, VIC) who finished in seventh place, after a shoot-off for the finals. Anna Shedrina (South Melbourne VIC) finished in ninth place and Teegan McCloy (Cardiff, NSW) in 10th place, while former Qatar Open gold medallist Laetisha Scanlan (Berwick, VIC) finished in 16th place.
The final events of the competition are Men’s and Junior Men’s Trap where qualification rounds have commenced. Currently in the Men’s Trap, after three rounds, Josh Collard (Port Melbourne, VIC) is placed fifth (70 targets) and Michael McNabb (Castle Cove, NSW) is in 14th place (67 targets); whilst in the Junior Men’s event, Jack Wallace (Yering, VIC) are currently tied for first place on 65 targets.