Stanton just falls short of Games medal

By David Leggat

Nadine Stanton of New Zealand competes in the Womens Singles Trap final at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. Photo / Getty Images
Nadine Stanton of New Zealand competes in the Womens Singles Trap final at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. Photo / Getty Images

So close. That was the story of Te Kauwhata shooter Nadine Stanton's day on the range as she chased the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games trap shooting event.

Stanton, who won gold and bronze medals in the Manchester Games eight years ago, got into the top six shootoff courtesy of an elimination to whittle six shooters down to the last three.

With England's Anita North and Shona Marshall of Scotland setting the pace, and ultimately winning the gold and silver, Stanton and Namibia's Gaby Ahrens duelled for the bronze.

It was a seesaw battle as both erred to repeatedly reopen the door to their rival, before Stanton's final shot missed the target, handing the bronze to Ahrens.

Stanton was unhappy and didn't want to discuss the finale, but coach Gavin Paton was philosophical: "we'd have liked a medal but that's the name of the game."

"She's shooting pretty well. She is still learning from when she was shooting double trap and swapping over to the trap side, and that's still a good result.

"But she wasn't happy about missing the last target, that's for sure."

As for New Zealand's other top six contender, Canterbury University student Natalie Rooney, she put a brave smile on a disappointing conclusion.

Rooney qualified second equal for the final on 70 out of a possible 75.
But it all went pear shaped from the start of the 25-shot shootoff. She missed five of her first seven and that ended her hopes.

But the 22-year-old knows she's be better for the experience.

"I think it was a lack of focus out there at the beginning (of the shootoff)," she said.

"The light had changed and I just wasn't sure. I wanted to put my best out there. I failed, but I tried."

Rooney has only been shooting three and a half years and I'm learning all the time.

"You're out there on your own and you've got to know what to do next time to get yourself going better."

Earlier pistol shooters Greg Yelavich and Alan Earle won the centre fire team silver medal. It was Yelavich's 12th Games medal, dating back to 1986 at Edinburgh, but he's as chuffed about this one as any other.

"I don't want to jinx anything but it would be nice to get another - but then that would be 13," he laughed. "Right at the moment I'd just carry on shooting till I die."

The pair finished on 1140.35, behind Indians Vijay Kumar and Harpreet Singh, with Singapore's Bin Gai and Lip Meng Poh getting the bronze.

- NZ Herald

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