SPORT

Australian Catherine Skinner Wins Rio Olympics Trap Shooting Gold

This was a victory built on ice cream.

08/08/2016 5:40 AM AEST | Updated 08/08/2016 12:07 PM AEST
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Catherine Skinner might be onto something with her competition regime.

Australia won its third gold medal of the Rio Olympic Games overnight. It was not one of the medals we expected to win, but boy, was it one of the most exciting ever.

The even better news? We beat the Kiwis.

Trap shooter and renowned chocoholic Catherine Skinner won a tense gold medal match against New Zealand's Oceania champion Natalie Rooney, to win her first ever major international event.

That's right. In a clear sign that this Olympic team is on fire -- and has taken inspiration from Mack Horton's gutsy win in the 400m freestyle on night one of the swimming finals -- Skinner won her first ever major international competition at the most important one of all.

Talk about peaking at the right time. But Skinner, from Mansfield in north-east Victoria, almost never made it anywhere near the final.

The 26-year-old survived an unbelievably nail-biting shoot-off against Canada's Cynthia Meyer earlier in the day just to reach the final six-person qualifier for the medal matches. She missed her first target and you thought "hmmm". But she ended up qualifying with the top score out of the six shooters, with 14 of 15 targets.

In the final, Skinner again missed her first target. She then missed her fourth. Meanwhile her Kiwi opponent Natalie Rooney nailed her first five targets. At that point you kind of thought "uh-oh". But you also "oh, well", because Skinner had done so well just to make the final.

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Yum! Chocolate money! Oh wait, that's a gold medal.

But Skinner then missed one of her last 11 shots while Rooney missed four. She won. 12-11 was the score. Like Eminem said, you get one shot. And that's what Catherine Skinner won by.

Skinner took up the sport of shooting when she was 12. As recently as 2013, she was still competing at uni level. She represented Australia at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but missed the podium.

And now she's an Olympic champion. She's also a massive sweet tooth. Skinner says she eats a pint of Ben and Jerry's Triple Caramel Choc Chunk for dinner before each competition, and that she'd spend her last $10 on chocolate.

We're not sure if Ben and Jerry's is available in Rio, but we're going to make it our business to find out.

More to come.

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