The third day of competition at the 2018 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, ended in winning fashion for the United States, with Ashley Carroll winning her second career World Cup gold medal with a 48 out of 50 score—a new Women’s Trap World Record.
The 23-year-old Californian had a truly remarkable performance, only missing her fifth and 46th targets. She held on to the lead for the duration of the match, and her 48 hits out of 50 was four more than Australia’s Catherine Skinner—the current Olympic champion in this event. She failed to match Carroll’s pace, but eventually took home the silver with 44 hits out of 50. This is the fourth World Cup medal for the 28-year-old from Melbourne.
Carroll told USA Shooting that mentally breaking down the two days of competition into separate matches helped her, along with training in windy conditions as preparation for the blustery conditions she faced in Mexico.
“I was trying to get myself pumped up after the 75 targets and I had to stop myself because we had another two rounds,” said Carroll. “I’m so used to going to a World Cup and shooting 75 and just sitting on it, but we had another 50 to go and it was kind of weird. I gained a lot of confidence in this Final though … I found a rhythm and ended up working out really well. I’m so glad this outcome showed just how hard I’ve worked this whole match.”
From left to right: Catherine Skinner, Ashley Carroll and Aeriel Alease Skinner. Photo by Nicolo Zangirolam/ISSF
Carroll’s U.S. teammate Aeriel Alease Skinner was able to crush 34 out of 40 clay targets to pocket the bronze—the first World Cup medal of her career. The 23-year-old previously set a new Qualification World Record, breaking 119 out of 125 clay targets.
Both Team USA shooters Carroll and Skinner are used to 125 targets (or more) over several days of shooting at USA Shooting selection matches, but this World Cup marked the first time internationally where both women shot the same number of targets (125) that men are to shoot in competition. Previously, women would shoot 75 targets for qualification.
“Even before this match, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of scores or how other people were going to do, so going into today I was a nervous, hot mess from start to finish!” said Carroll.