So close yet so far for silver medallist Rooney

18:49, Mar 12 2014
Natalie Rooney
TOP SHOOTER: Natalie Rooney.

Timaru's Natalie Rooney was just a point off retaining her the Down-The-Line trap shooting world championships after a very tight contest in Hamilton.

Home advantage paid off for Matamata's Natalie Curtis after the final five-person shootoff, recording a total score of 876 over the three days, edging out Rooney on 875.

Rooney started the final 50 shots five points behind Curtis so certainly put the pressure on the top qualifier but couldn't quite pull off a victory.

Rooney, 25,  said she was ''pretty stoked'' with the result as she had not been shooting well going into the championships.

''I wasn't expecting anything, so silver is pretty good after chugging my way through at the start.''

Her only annoyance was dropping a target in the last five, which would could have handed her the title.


''That's part of the sport, overall I'm very happy.''

The silver medal gives Rooney an unmatched run a the Down-The-Line worlds.

Rooney won in 2008 and in 2012, finished third in the 2010 so has never been off the podium.

She also collected her fourth ladies' team gold medal in four championships.

Curtis won her first world title in 2004 but since then the best she has managed was a second placing.

Curtis said to win the title back was special, particularly being in the Waikato.

''I've shot here a lot,'' she said.

''In club matches and at school. I've been here quite often so I think it might have helped.''

Timaru teenagers Rachel Bell and Britanny Pilcher also performed very well, finishing sixth and seventh equal in the ladies' section respectively, with scores of 712 and 711 in the 50-plus field, just missing the finals shootoff.

Bell, 16, also managed a perfect score in her last set of shots. 

Bell said she was very happy with her efforts, especially as she got so close the finals.

Huntly's Jon Beddis took the men's title at his first world championships.

Beddis shot a perfect 100 from 100 targets in the final for 300 points, with three points awarded for hitting the clay pigeon with the first barrel, and two for a second barrel hit.

Defending champion Darryl Nicholls, of Australia, missed a target early  with both shots to drop three points. 

That hurt as he finished just a point adrift of Beddis and tied with England's Austin Coxhead in second.

The Timaru Herald