By David Nagel
Australia won gold, silver and bronze at the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan last week, and Berwick star Laetisha Scanlan shot ahead in the of the three victories.
Scanlan began her sweep of the medal spectrum by winning bronze in women’s trap, before being the central figure in a silver medal performance by the Australian women’s trap team.
The former St Margaret pupil then teamed up with James Willett to claim an elusive gold medal in the Trap Mixed Team event.
In qualifying, Scanlan and Willett shot a combined score of 142, which put them level with Portugal.
Australia and Portugal then faced off in the gold medal match, with Scanlan continuing his fine form to lead a dominating display… Australia scoring six points to two to secure victory.
Willett praised his partner for staying strong and consistent throughout the gold medal game under high pressure.
“Teash helped me out a bit and we got the gold,” Willett said.
Scanlan was also thrilled to claim the gold and put the stamp on a successful European campaign.
“James and I did enough to cross the finish line and win the gold medal, which was a very, very good result at the end of a very long journey,” she said.
“Our European tour is coming to an end; it’s been almost seven weeks.
“I’ve learned some very valuable lessons along this journey and I’m really blessed and blessed to have so many competitions over the seven weeks.
“I’m really happy to finish at a World Cup… and to win medals in all three events.
Scanlan, a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics last year, hit 22 of 25 targets in the women’s trap final to win the bronze medal.
Scanlan then teamed with Catherine Skinner and Charlie Hudson-Czerniecki to score a combined 204/225 in qualifying for the women’s team event.
In the gold medal game against the United States, the teams were tied 5-5, meaning they participated in a sudden-death shootout where the Australians put on a fine display to win the silver medal.
“It’s always a competitive game against teams from the United States, so unfortunately they won the gold medal this time, but I think next time we’ll definitely give them their money’s worth,” said Scanlan.
Shooting Australia CEO Adam Sachs was delighted with the countries‘ medal haul, especially gold.
“James and Laetisha are a proven team at the highest level of international competition,” Sachs said.
“Their gold medal in the Trap Mixed Team event at this week’s World Cup highlights the strength of their individual performances and their team performance.
“We are very proud of James and Laetisha’s gold medal, one of our team’s four podium finishes in Baku.
“And by winning silver, Australia’s female Trap athletes continue to show the rest of the world that they are a force to be reckoned with.”
Scanlan will not have the chance to defend back-to-back Commonwealth Games crowns with shooting not on the program in Birmingham this year.
But the now 32-year-old could be aiming for the 2026 Commonwealth Games… to be held in her home state of Victoria.