International medal for Olympic hopeful

Colac Gun Club member Penny Smith, right, claimed a World Championships bronze medal with Thomas Grice in Italy.

Impressive results on the international stage for Australia have given Colac Gun Club member Penny Smith a boost as she prepares for an assault at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Camperdown product secured an ISSF World Championships Shotgun bronze medal alongside Aussie teammate Thomas Grice in Italy.

The 24-year-old also claimed individual honours during a lead-up event at the Beretta Gold Cup, which was at the same venue in Italy – the iconic Lonato range.

Smith, who works at Colac’s Bluewater leisure centre, said the support from her employer and family had helped her “fulfil her dream” to hopefully represent Australia at next year’s Olympics.

But the talented athlete said she wasn’t getting ahead of herself more than six months out from trials for the Tokyo Games in July next year.

“I certainly feel more confident having had recent successes on the international scene,” Smith said.

“The Olympics are important, but I’ve got to keep a level head about it and not let the thought of winning a quota for Australia affect my performance.

“I would like to believe it is realistic but there is still a long way to go,” she said.

“We don’t start trials until January 2020 so there will be lots of hard work done between now and then and I will take one match at a time and see where my shooting leads to.”

Smith said she was thrilled to share international success with Grice again, while also recovering from a slow start to her individual event to win at the Beretta Gold Cup before this month’s World Championships.

“I shot 163 out of 175 to claim the ladies’ title,” Smith said.

“The first day was a bit below where I wanted to shoot but second day was really solid,” she said.

“It was a great confidence-booster before a major event and the World Champs was really special to win bronze with Thomas Grice again.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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