First medal – shooting silver

The Olympics opened on Saturday and Natalie Rooney has won New Zealand’s first medal – a silver in the trap shooting.

Rooney had to contend with strong winds and the pressure of a shoot-off just to make the final, but looked serene and capable throughout a long and testing day.

She had her chances in the final, against Australian Catherine Skinner, leading 4-2 and still level-pegging at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8. Finally she faltered and the Australian eased away to win a thriller 12-11. . . 

She comes from Waimate:

Rooney’s silver success is just reward for her dedication to the sport since she was controversially omitted from the London Olympic Games squad in 2012.

The South Canterbury shooter was selected for London but later lost her place when rifle shooter Ryan Taylor successfully appealed against his non-selection.

New Zealand only qualified one shooter in 2012 and Taylor got the nod. . . 

Rooney trains in Europe up to three months at a time with limited official funding. She received a her first grant of $20,000 from High Performance Sport in the December 2015 funding round.

“Obviously my Dad [Gary Rooney] has paid a fair bit of money for my shooting.

“This is a big thanks to him.”

Rooney said she was “very stoked” that she had delivered to make up for the family’s sacrifices.

“I think he’s pretty proud, I can see him in the stand.”

She was thrilled to become New Zealand’s second Olympic shooting medallist.

“Shooting is an awesome sport,” she said. . . 

Rooney told Stuff in April that her omission from the London squad was a blessing because she realised she “was not ready to throw away my lifelong dream of competing at the Olympics”.

“Over the last three or four years I’ve been working incredibly hard on my shooting to make sure that I didn’t suffer the disappointment I did back in 2012.

“I feel I’m a much more consistent shooter now,” she said. . .

There’s been quite a bit of muttering from the commentariat about the Olympics not being interesting, that might change now we’ve got a medal.

Perhaps I’m a contrarian, but I’m more interested in these games than I have been for some years.

That’s helped largely because I know one of the rowers and have followed her career with increasing admiration for the hard work and dedication it’s taken to make the team and her determination to give everything she has in the races.

5 Responses to First medal – shooting silver

  1. Andrei says:

    Shooting is not a spectator sport – it doesn’t make for good TV

    Me I am boycotting these Olympics because they have been wrecked by the Russian bans

    I see the Russian Paralympians have copped a ban as well – what a crock

  2. J Bloggs says:

    I’m enjoying being able to watch top level Judo (a rarity on NZ television)

  3. Andrei says:

    Yes J Bloggs that used to be one of the Olympics benefits – sports that were not usually televised got a look in

    But things like Tennis, Basketball and now golf and Rugby sevens are negating that to an extent

    Next Olympics Skateboarding and surfing – that is truly jumping the shark

  4. J Bloggs says:

    The best thing that happened for minor (read – not big in NZ) sports was Sky getting the rights to the olympics. I can watch any sport I like across 10 channels, regardless of who is competing – compared to the bad old days of TVNZ, where you had endless replays of NZ medal winners perfomances, and you’d be lucky to get 10 minutes of Judo at 4am (and only if a kiwi was competing, and they’d only show that fight)

  5. J Bloggs says:

    Can’t say I’m enthused about skateboarding & surfing, but the rockwall climbing I think could be an addition.
    In my mind, the wall climbing at least fits the ethos of both a physical discipline that can be objectively measured (who can get to the top fastest without falling), and the idea that the original ancient greek olympics events were based on martial skills.
    Karate, meh – unless its full contact like the taekwondo, I don’t see any point to including it

    My wife thinks that Ninja Warrior ™ assault course running would make a good new olympic sport

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