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Laetisha Scanlan celebrated her 28th birthday today with another Commonwealth Games gold medal in the women’s Trap shooting.
Scanlan, who was defending the title she won four years ago in Glasgow, hit 38 of her 50 targets to finish atop the dais in a new Games Record, edging out Northern Ireland’s Kirsty Barr in a nailbiting finish.
The qualification eliminated some high-profile contenders with Scanlan’s compatriot and current world No.1 Catherine Skinner, and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist Natalie Rooney of New Zealand both crashing out.
Scanlan also went close to an early exit, just scraping through to the final as the last and sixth qualifier after a tense shoot-off with Rooney.
Scanlan, who had also made the final in Glasgow after a shoot-off, started the final session strongly, taking a lead in the first 10 targets then hitting all from 19 to 27 to increase the margin before clinching the gold medal with 38 targets.
“There was a bit of drama with the shoot off, but I just had to block that out and just hot as many targets as I could. To qualify last and come out first, is fantastic.”
“I am so humbled by the experience. This Aussie crowd pushed me the whole way. I can’t thank them enough. My supporters and family all came out. It’s just phenomenal,” an elated Scanlan added.
In the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol final, Sergei Evglevski surged to a silver medal with a score of 28, two shots behind champion Anish Bhanwala from India, who set a new Games record score of 30.
“Before the last round I was just trying to relax and breathe, and do whatever my mum (fellow shooter Lalita Yauhleuskaya) taught me. She’s one of the best shooters alive. She taught me so much and she’s here today. Mum means the world to me. She put me in the sport and put me in the position I’m in.”
Evglevski’s teammate, David Chapman — who registered the old Games record of 23 for the event in Glasgow four years ago— finished fourth on a score of 15.
Seasoned shooter Robyn Ridley finished a creditable seventh in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Position final at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on Friday, shooting a score of 398.9. Indian Tejaswini Sawant won gold with a Games record score of 457.9, Sawant’s compatriot Anjum Moudgil claimed silver, while Scotland’s Seonaid McIntosh secured bronze.