FRANKSTON Australia Clay Target Club shooters James Bolding and Laetisha Scanlan returned to Melbourne last week after representing Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Bolding, of Parkdale, competed at his first Commonwealth Games and finished in ninth place in the Men’s Skeet, while Scanlan celebrated her 28th birthday with back-to-back gold medals in the Women’s Trap in a deja vu-style finish.
Bolding completed his event on Monday 9 April and stayed to support Scanlan who, just like at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years ago, had to face a sudden-death shoot-off against New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney to make the final on the Saturday.
After finishing in tied sixth position, Scanlan had to shoot for her spot in the final as one miss of the 100kph flying disk would cost her her chance at a gold medal.
Scanlan said she wasn’t as nervous as what she thought because she had experienced the pressure before at Glasgow.
“I didn’t even think I’d make the finals after the third round but my day was like a roller coaster and was full of highs and lows,” Scanlan said.
“I knew she (Rooney) was a fantastic shooter as she was a silver medallist at the Rio Olympics and I knew she was going to be hard to beat but because I had been through it before I took with me a bit of confidence.”
Rooney was the first to make an error and Scanlan capitalised on the eighth target to secure her spot in the final. From there on Scanlan never looked in doubt through the finals despite missing twice in her last five shots to give Northern Ireland’s silver medallist Kirsty Barr an opening.
It came down to Scanlan’s final shot of the day to claim the gold medal and she duly saluted before an unscripted rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ was blared from the crowd.
“Knowing all of my family and friends, which ended up being about 35 of them, were there was such an amazing feeling,” Scanlan said.
“I was well aware that I had a two target lead heading into the last five [shots] and all I had to do was hit one. I then missed a couple of shots and finally landed the last one which was crazy when I hit it.
“There was so much relief, excitement and tears after all of that, and to top it off it was my birthday so it was a huge roller coaster ride.”