What fires you up to win!

Articles | Friday, Jul 29, 2016

Well missing out put the fire in our Shooting Young Gun as reported by Luke Pentony from ABC News.

Australian shooter Laetisha Scanlan describes missing the 2012 Olympics in London as having been "fantastic".

Seriously?

Ok, it was a little too quick to question Scanlan's comment because when it is given context you realise she makes perfect sense, as out of the disappointment of not being selected for London her Olympic ambition will be realised in Rio de Janeiro.

Not only will Scanlan be making her Olympic debut, but the 26-year-old is among the medal contenders in the women's trap courtesy of finishing fifth at last year's world championships and being sixth on the current ISSF rankings.

Scanlan's rise up the ranks no doubt has much to do with her talent, but the heartache of missing London has been what has fuelled the fire during the past four years.

"In hindsight I think it was fantastic because it got me that much more motivated for the next four years," Scanlan told Grandstand.

"I had a couple of months off after that whole selection process and came back really strong by shooting an Australian record and just progressing to making another Commonwealth Games team (in 2014).

"So in hindsight that was probably the best thing that could have happened to me, missing out, because I'm so hungry now."

The career of Scanlan, who took up the sport of shooting as a 15-year-old, has gone from strength to strength since 2012, with her resume highlighted by victories on the World Cup circuit - Al Ain in 2013 and Tucson in 2014 - and a Commonwealth Games gold medal in Glasgow.

Her performance at the 2015 world titles in Lonato served as further confirmation she is among the elite in the trap event, as were top-eight finishes at this year's World Cup events in Rio (sixth) and Baku (fourth).

Scanlan, who was born and raised in Melbourne, is satisfied with her form heading into the Olympics but she feels there is room for improvement, which could see her climb the podium in Rio.

"I'm pretty happy with my form at the moment," she said.

"I've been doing relatively well at the World Cup [events], not as well as I hoped in terms of medalling but I'm up there I'm making the finals and things like that.

"When I went to Baku ... my main aim was to make the final and just get that finals preparation in before Rio because finals are quite stressful, you've only got one shot.

"I think it is just really good to practise that because it is very hard to practise in training creating that same pressure environment, so I was really happy that I made the final in Baku and I was just a little bit unlucky.

"I missed out on the medal by one target with my last target, so it's coming along nicely and being ranked sixth in the world also helps in terms of mentality and things like that."

Winning shooting's 'mental battle' the key for Scanlan

Scanlan's reference to the stress and mental pressure involved with competing gives an insight into what the sport of shooting is about.

She describes shooting as being "80 per cent mental and 20 per cent physical".

"Unfortunately we don't look like athletes as such compared to the sprinters or anything like that but a lot of the people don't realise the mental strain you are under and that kind of pressure," Scanlan said.

"We're shooting for a solid 30 minutes and the thoughts that go through your head, just trying to control that little negative guy sitting on your shoulder.

"So it is a mental battle but in saying that it is very rewarding when you go out and you compete at your best and you manage to win."

 

Click through to read "Laetisha Scanlan's Olympic dream inspired by disappointment of missing London" at ABC News.


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