BOOKAAR shooter Penny Smith will head to Adelaide this weekend high on confidence after an exceptional debut at an international competition.
Smith, 17, placed seventh at the Qatar Open, surprising herself by hitting 68 out of 75 targets in the women’s single trap.
She was equal-sixth after the three 25-target rounds but missed her first shot in a three-way shoot-off for sixth.
Frustratingly, the top six progressed to the medal round, meaning Smith was one target off vying for a podium finish.
Smith, a year 12 Kings College student, returned to the south-west late last week and is back at school.
She said her performance at Qatar remained fresh in her mind.
“I didn’t expect to shoot quite that well considering it was my first trip overseas,” she said.
“The nerves — I was competing against people so much more experienced than what I am.
“To come away shooting a really good score — I shot 68 out of 75, which was my personal best — that was really good.
“The other competitors I shot with, they carried me along because I was so young.
“There was pressure but I didn’t put pressure on myself to shoot well.
Smith, a South West Academy of Sport member, said shooting on the international stage had “broadened my horizons”
“The shooting side of things is pretty straight forward. You go out and shoot 75 targets each time in a competition,” she said.
“But it opened my eyes to the next level, the standard you have to shoot at.
“You’re talking to people and watching other shooters, how they shoot and what they talk about.
“You pick up little tips along the way you can take home and work on.”
Smith and her brother Andrew, also a talented marksman, will head to Adelaide this weekend chasing more shotgun success.
They will contest round one of Australian International Shooting Limited’s Australia Cup.
Smith said she had her sights set on representing Australia at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. She is in an Australian International Shooting Limited Focus 2020 squad but she said she had set her long-term goal for 2016.
“But it could be a bit soon. We’ll see how we go,” she said.