15 August 2011

Catherine shoots for silver success

Catherine Skinner, a chemical engineering student at RMIT University, has won a silver medal for shooting at the Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China.

Catherine Skinner

Catherine Skinner competed in and won silver in the women's shotgun trap event in Shenzhen, China.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown represented Australia in table tennis.

She set a new personal best during the final of the women's shotgun trap event.

Shooting coach and fellow athlete Daniel Allam said Ms Skinner held her nerve against eventual gold medallist and German shooter Jana Beckmann, who competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"Had Jana missed her final shot, Catherine and Jana would have gone into a shootout where Catherine could have potentially won gold," Mr Allam said.

Ms Skinner is the only female trap shooter to be selected by Australian International Shooting to represent Australia on the Australian Uniroos team at the Summer Universiade.

She made Australia's World Cup team this year after competing in the World University Shooting Championships in Poland in 2010.

"I really love shooting for its social side," Ms Skinner said. "You have periods of intense focus in between times where you really get to enjoy the social aspects of a competition.

"It's more a mental sport than a physical one - most of the time you're competing against yourself."

The universiade is an international sporting and cultural festival that aims to promote peace and cultural exchange among young people through sport.

Two other RMIT students made the Australian team for the games, which are staged every two years by the International University Sports Federation:

  • Michael Brown, a Bachelor of Business (Professional Accountancy) student - table tennis
  • Patrice O'Neill, studying biology at RMIT through Open Universities Australia - women's water polo

RMIT Link Sport and Recreation Senior Coordinator, Janelle Farley, said the students had received sporting grants valued up to $1,500 from RMIT Link.

"Studying, training and competing at a high level is a difficult balancing act, so we're proud to support these top athletes in their efforts on the world stage," Ms Farley said.

Mr Brown, who has been competing in table tennis for 13 years, juggles his studies at RMIT with part-time work and training 15 - 20 hours a week.

"It is hard to put it all together - I manage but it's not always easy," he said.

"I usually train four or five nights a week and one day each weekend. Sounds like a lot but it's still not enough - in China they train about 60 hours a week!"

Mr Brown competed in the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade and was Fiji Open Champion in 2010.

The Summer Universiade ends on 23 August.

More news

Subscribe to RMIT news RSS feeds