Smiths claim gold at national titles

BOOKAAR siblings Andrew and Penny Smith were on target at the Australian International Shooting Limited youth nationals in Sydney at the weekend, earning three gold medals between them.

Andrew won the boys’ under 21 double-trap and the overall double-trap gold medals and Penny claimed the 17-20 years girls’ trap honours.

Andrew shot 122/150 plus 41 in his final.

Their youth national success will be a confidence-booster ahead of the Australian Clay Target Association International Shooting Sport Federation open national titles in Brisbane from January 21 to 26.

Andrew, 20, returned to the sport seriously six months ago after a four-year break.

The Terang-based apprentice electrician said he continued to shoot at local competitions during his time away from ISSF events.

“I had other things going on, like getting an apprenticeship,” he said.

“Now I have more time I decided to get back into it and give it another go.”

Andrew said the ACTA ISSF nationals in Brisbane would be his third tournament back. “At nationals it would be nice to post a score of 125 to 135,” he said. “Once you crack the 135-mark, you can step it up a notch.”

Penny, 17, was the only shooter in her discipline without an Australian vest at the youth nationals, highlighting the calibre of opposition she defeated.

The King’s College student said she shot 67/75 heading into the finals.

She said she was disappointed with her performance in the 17-20 years girls’ final but her 67 in the three preliminary rounds, plus her final, score was enough to earn gold in her division.

Penny was selected in Australia’s shadow squad for the Australian Youth Olympics Festival next month, but international teams opted against sending female shotgun shooters, which forced Australia to withdraw its entry.

“There was no competition so Australia reneged sending a team,” Penny said.

“It’s a bit of a shame. It’s different because there are a lot of women shooters around the world.”

Penny now has her sights set on the world junior championships in Chile in September. 

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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