Australian Skinner Braves Wind, Technical Issues to Win Olympic Shooting Gold; American Takes Bronze | NBC 7 San Diego
2016 Rio Olympic Games

2016 Rio Olympic Games

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Australian Skinner Braves Wind, Technical Issues to Win Olympic Shooting Gold; American Takes Bronze

American Corey Cogdell-Unrein took bronze



    Catherine Skinner of Australia competes during the women's trap event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016.

    The wind blew in from the west, sending the clay targets bobbing and bouncing through the air.

    In case that wasn't enough, the microphone used to pull the targets repeatedly malfunctioned, causing clays to shoot out randomly or not at all.

    Catherine Skinner had just enough patience — and a bit of anger — to ride out the difficulties and earn a gold medal in her first Olympics.

    The Australian survived a shoot-off in women's trap to get into the final round and hit 12 of 15 targets in the gold medal match to beat New Zealand's Natalie Rooney on Sunday.

    "It made me a bit more angry instead of being nervous and locking up," Skinner said of the difficulties. "It made me just want to see and smash."

    Skinner hit 67 of 75 targets in qualifying, tying her with Canada's Cynthia Meyer. Both women hit their first shots in the shoot-off, but Skinner hit and Meyer missed, sending the Australian into the final six.

    Skinner navigated the gusting wind well in the semifinals, hitting 14 of 15 targets to earn a spot in the gold-medal match. Rooney won a shoot-off with American Corey Cogdell-Unrein after tying for second to set up the finals showdown.

    Skinner started slow, missing two of her first four shots in the gold medal match, but hit seven straight as Rooney twice missed consecutive shots. Skinner missed her 12th shot, but could still clinch gold by hitting her final three shots.

    She did, making Rooney's final shot moot, and threw her head back after taking home gold in her first Olympics.

    "I can't really say there was emotion; it was kind of like a shock," Skinner said. "Even now, I can't really believe I have this (medal) in my hand."

    Cogdell-Unrein qualified fourth in her third Olympics, but opened the semifinals with a miss. She recovered by hitting her final nine shots, only to miss in the shoot-off with Rooney.

    Cogdell-Urein met Spain's Fatima Galvez in the bronze medal match and again was faced with a shoot-off after both shooters hit 13 of 15 targets. Cogdell-Unrein hit her shot and Galvez missed, giving Cogdell-Unrein a bronze to match the one she earned at the 2008 Beijing Games.

    "Missing my first target out was definitely not a good feeling," Cogdell-Unrein said. "But I knew if I smoothed out and do what I normally do, I could still continue to shoot a good final and that's what I did."

    Defending gold medalist Jessica Rossi of Italy hit 10 targets in the semifinals and finished sixth.