Catherine Skinner bagged Shooting’s first medal early for #OurTeam this morning Australia time - and it’s GOLD!
The 26-year-old from Mansfield remained on the shooting line after her winning shot, not letting go of the mental focus that had just made her an Olympic champion. Her reserve was not shared by supporters in the Olympic Shooting Centre stands, including her mother, father, and brother, who all erupted as Catherine reclaimed for Australia the medal last won by Suzanne Balogh in 2004.
Catherine outscored current Oceania champion New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney in the final, with American Corey Codgell taking bronze in a shoot-off with Fatima Galvez of Spain.
As she returned to reality Catherine was embraced by teammate Laetisha Scanlan, who had looked like Australia’s strongest medal prospect as she led the semi-finalists before eventually finishing in fifth place. Never before had a Olympic shooting semifinal featured two Australian athletes, so hopes were high for green and gold to stand on the top step - and Catherine stepped up.
“It still hasn’t sunk in and it’s here in my hand!” she said after the medal presentation, speaking through the broad smile that will be splashed all over newspapers worldwide after today’s performance. “It’s so surreal.”
“You just rely so much on your routine,” she said when quizzed about her steely concentration on the line. “It’s been hammered out from experience.” Laughing she continued “I think I’m going to be in hysterics when the cameras are away!"
Article originally published by shootingaustralia.org on 8 August 2016.