PENNY Smith says a positive outlook is crucial to her chances of making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Bookaar-based trap shooter has vowed to move forward after she was overlooked for Australia’s Commonwealth Games team last year.
Smith, 23, shot a career best 123 out of 125 on her way to winning gold at the International Shooting Sport Federation Australian titles in Brisbane last week.
“I guess I had to reassess what I wanted to achieve for the 12 months. I knuckled down a bit more with my training and stepped up my fitness a bit more,” she said.
“I changed to a different sports psychologist and I think that’s really been a helping point. Some people say their beneficial, some people say they’re not.
“But I think for me and the hole I was in, I needed something to get myself out of it.”
Smith said 2018 was a “challenging year” and she was determined to bounce back.
Her performance at the nationals in Brisbane last week, including the 123/125, was the ideal start to a campaign which will be “jam-packed with a lot of international travel”.
“If I want to make Tokyo I have to knuckle down and that’s what I did, so I took motivation out of it and to kick-start the year with a major win, such a good week at nationals and a big score over 123, it makes you pretty confident in yourself and gives you a bit of drive and motivation,” she said.
Smith won four medals at the event – Commonwealth mixed teams silver with Tom Grice, Commonwealth individual gold, national mixed teams gold, and national individual gold.
“I shot a 123 out of 125 which was my personal best and it’s also an Australian record for the women and it is one of the best scores that has been shot at Brisbane Gun Club in nearly 20 years,” she said.
“Last year I shot a 120/125 at a match in Sydney and I thought to myself ‘gee, it’s a big score to shoot’ and it’s one of those things where you never know if you’re going to capitalise on it.”
Smith will compete at the Qatar Open in February and world cup shoots in Mexico in February, the UAE in March, Korea in May and Finland in August.
She will aim for the Italy-based world championships in July.
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