Skinner shoots through nerves to claim gold
08 Aug 2016
Shooter Catherine Skinner was Australia’s star on the second day of the Olympic Games in Rio winning gold in a sport she took up in 2002, only two years before Australia last won an Olympic gold medal in shooting.
Skinner’s gold medal in trap shooting and a bronze to Australian divers Maddison Keeney and Anabelle Smith in the synchronised three-metre springboard final was a repeat of Athens 2004, when Australia last achieved the same feats.
The day was completed when Australia’s 4x100m relay team snared a bronze, leaving Australia with three gold and three bronze medals from four sports after two days of competition.
Skinner became Australia’s fifth Olympic gold medallist in trap shooting and first Olympic shooting champion since Suzie Balogh won the title at Athens in 2004.
Skinner hit 12 of the 15 targets in the shoot-off to defeat New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney by one. Skinner trailed Rooney in the gold medal shoot out by two shots but came back to win 12-11.
"Really, you've just got to keep going for it because it's not uncommon for people to fall to pieces at the end," Skinner said.
Her victory gave Australia its third gold medal for the Games.
Keeney and Smith’s bronze medal performance in the three-metre synchronised diving equalled that of Irina Lashko and Chantelle Newbery in 2004, the last Australian duo to win an Olympic medal in the event.
The pair sat last after the second round, but secured bronze with an excellent final dive. Keeney said the level-headed approach of the Australian coaching staff helped them climb onto the podium.
"We focused on each new dive as it comes and listened to what the coach said," she said.
"The coaches are unbelievable. They've always got hope and they've always got faith and they always cheer us on and they just say 'don't worry about it, just focus on this dive'. That's what we did and that's awesome."
The Australians had more joy at the pool. In the last swimming event of the day, Australia’s men’s relay team of James Roberts, Kyle Chalmers, James Magnussen and Cam McEvoy combined to finish third, behind the USA and France.
Australia has medalled in four different sports – swimming, archery, diving and shooting.