In her World Cup Final debut, Austen Smith (Keller, Texas) wins her first “Golden Target” at 2021 ISSF Shotgun President’s Cup, earning her the title, “Best Athlete of the Year” in the Women’s Skeet discipline. Smith also won gold in the Mixed Team Skeet event with Italian shooter, Gabriele Rossetti. The top 48 shotgun athletes in the world competed in four individual and two team events, held in a test mode following new rules outlined by the ISSF.
Joining her on the podium is Olympic Silver Medalist, Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas) who took silver in the Women’s Trap event. Browning had previously attended the invite-only event in 2012 finishing sixth place. She’s had an incredible past two years, from winning the U.S. Olympic Quota in 2018 with a gold medal finish at the Continental American Championships, to winning both parts of Olympic Team Selection in 2019 and 2020, winning an Olympic Silver Medal at her first Olympic Games, to now a silver medal at ISSF President’s Cup.
Maddy Bernau (Waterford, Wisconsin) is also bringing home a gold medal in the Mixed Team Trap event with partner David Kostelecky from the Czech Republic. “My final overseas trip for this year has come to an end. I was fortunate to randomly draw an amazing partner for the mixed team event. David and I took gold for mixed team trap and had a blast competing together. As for the individual event, hey stuff happens, and at the end of the day you can’t beat yourself for your performance. You performed the best you could and nothing you say or do can change your score. No excuses this time. I’m walking away from this event with all smiles and super happy to be headed home,” said Bernau in her most recent Instagram post.
Bernau’s President’s Cup debut comes just three months after claiming an Olympic Bronze Medal in the Mixed Team Trap event in Tokyo. “Next event is January of 2022 in Tuscon, Arizona. And, I’m extremely grateful for some more time off and then hitting training hard coming off a super successful year for me. I was able to take home 4 medals from the 3 international events I attended, including my first World Cup medal and first Olympic medal. This is only my sixth trip overseas out of my career and it is just the beginning,” added Bernau.
The next event for U.S. Shotgun athletes, including Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) who finished fourth in the Men’s Skeet event, and Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colorado) who finished seventh in the Women’s Skeet event at this year’s ISSF Shotgun President’s Cup, is National Shotgun Team Selection in January 2022.