Rooney takes world title

Gutsy shooter weathers setback

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 08:10 31/07/2012

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Studholme clay target shooter Natalie Rooney is again a world champion after taking the Down The Line title in Wales.

The 24-year-old has shown plenty of courage to bounce back from the disappointment over her Olympic selection debacle, to again be crowned the best woman in the world in the discipline.

Rooney also won the title four years ago in Ireland, was third in South Africa in 2010, and has been part of the champion New Zealand team during the past three years.

Rooney led throughout the three days of competition, holding her nerve on the final day to beat the 52 other competitors.

She scored 879 out of 900, to finish three points ahead of her nearest rival at the Mid Wales Shooting Centre in Caersws.

Understandably she was delighted with the result. "I hadn't been training for the Down the Line and it took a bit to get back into it, so I am feeling pretty good.

"Also to get the team event three years in a row is special."

The talented shooter was disappointed with her final day's effort but fortunately had a big lead going in and held on.

Rooney's younger brother, William, just missed the top five shootout, finishing sixth in the junior men's section.

Last month Rooney was advised by the New Zealand Olympic Committee she was in the team to shoot the trap and waited patiently for a press statement announcing her selection.

Unfortunately it never came and, in a devastating turn of events for Rooney, she was dumped after Levin shooter Ryan Taylor successfully appealed to the Sports Tribunal against his exclusion from the New Zealand team on process.

At the time Rooney received a lot of kudos for the mature way she took the decision, stating she would not take the matter further.

After a couple of months off, Rooney will start training for the trench. "I'm looking towards qualifying next year for the Commonwealth Games in 2014," Rooney said.

She will be back in Timaru by the weekend, in time to turn out for Harlequins in the premier netball semifinals.

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- South Canterbury

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