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Rooney wins trap World Cup final in Rome

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/10/2016

Olympic silver medallist shooter Natalie Rooney has held her nerve to win the women's trap gold medal at the shotgun World Cup in Rome.

Rooney capped a breakthrough year with victory in the international season finale in Rome, beating defending champion Alessandra Perilli in a tense final.

Both could manage only nine out of 15 shots in the final, struggling with windy conditions at the TAV Valle Aniene shooting range.

They entered a sudden death shoot-out which took 10 rounds to complete. Both shooters nailed their first nine shots before San Marino's Perilli missed her 10th.

The result helped atone for Rooney's loss, by one shot, to Australian Catherine Skinner in the final of the Rio Olympics in August.

The Timaru 28-year-old, who was ninth in her only previous World Cup final appearance, in Cyprus last year, said Friday's competition was a taxing affair.

"The light changed a lot this morning, and then the wind picked up this afternoon. That made it really difficult out there," she said.

"I was feeling pretty good during the semi-final, I knew what kind of rhythm I was going to do and I stuck to that. The final was more difficult, the wind picked up more, it became really hard, and that reflected on the scores."

Rooney was among the six who advanced through the 10-woman qualification stage after shooting 68 from 75 shots.

She stepped up in the semi-final stage, topping her rivals with 13 from 15 while Perilli was outright second with 12.

World No.2 ranked Rooney says a period of training with her Italian coach Andrea Miotto was crucial leading into competition, as it was before Rio.

She hopes her performance will provide another boost for shooting in New Zealand.

"The Rio 2016 experience was pretty amazing.

"The reactions at home have been awesome to my silver medal. Shooting sport just got a lot more recognition in New Zealand."

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