BOOKAAR shooter Penny Smith has returned from the shotgun world championships with a top-10 finish.
Smith, 18, finished seventh in the junior women class at the International Shooting Sport Federation titles in Lima, Peru.
The King’s College year 12 student fired rounds of 21, 21 and 20 for an overall score of 62/75.
She was seven shots behind the winner, Miranda Wilder from the US.
Smith, who touched down in Melbourne about midnight Thursday, yesterday told The Standard she was rapt with her efforts.
“The range was quite a challenging range to shoot at — just the light because it was pretty smoggy,” she said.
“The targets, if you didn’t pick them up straight away it was pretty hard to shoot, but the conditions were the same for everyone.
“In all it would’ve been good to shoot a few more targets than I did. But it doesn’t matter. It was a good experience.
“It’s not all about winning. It’s about gaining experience and knowledge. Succeeding in getting a place would’ve been a bonus.
“Because it’s world championships you can’t expect too much.”
Smith followed her brother Andrew into shooting about five years ago, with the sport quickly becoming a passion.
She has competed internationally four times this year and is a member of the Australian shadow squad for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow.
But it is selection in the Australian squad for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro she has her sights set on.
Smith said her shooting had improved as a result of competing overseas — in Spain, Germany, Qatar and now Peru.
“You’re broadening your horizons and building confidence as well,” she said.
“You have faith in yourself to know you are able to achieve at that level.
“Just by watching other people and mixing with different countries and nationalities you pick up a lot.”
Smith will resume training at Werribee — the closest sport shooting range to her home — ahead of a host of national competitions.
Her next assignment is round four of the Australia Cup in Brisbane from October 18 to 20.
She will also contest the Australia Cup final, the Oceanian Championships and Australian Youth Nationals before the end of the year.