Nattrass aims high, but misses Olympic target

Sue Nattrass has raised the bar in women’s trapshooting throughout her career. - Graham Mayshark photo
Sue Nattrass has raised the bar in women’s trapshooting throughout her career.
— image credit: Graham Mayshark photo

Islander Sue Nattrass missed her mark and her shot at an Olympic medal on Monday, missing her clay target four times in a row in the third qualifying round of the women’s trapshooting event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

She had been solidly ranked fourth out of the ___ competitors for the previous two rounds, but dropped to 11th after the third round and did not qualify for the final round of competition.

“I honestly thought I’d be in the final today, so I’m sort of dealing with that disappointment,” she told The Canadian Press from Beijing. “It’s hard. It’s hard when it’s probably my last Olympics.’’

Nattrass, 57, is a Canadian citizen and a member of Canada’s four-person Olympic shooting team. She has been trapshooting professionally on the international circuit for 39 years, and plans to make it an even 40 before retiring next year.

In those four decades, she’s won seven world championship titles, with her most recent world title two years ago.

Nattrass was a pioneer in the sport of women’s trapshooting. She was the first woman to trapshoot in the Olympics — in the 1976 Montreal games — and lobbied for years for it to become a separate Olympic event for women. When it did in 2000, Nattrass was right there in Sydney, shooting for a medal.

Nattrass today works in an osteoporosis clinic in Seattle, and her contributions to women’s trapshooting were not lost on the Olympic medalists this week, according to news from the Canadian Press.

“Her role in trapshooting has been big, and she’s done many good things, so women’s trap is at a high level at the moment,’’ said Satu Makela-Nummela of Finland, the gold medalist in trapshooting.

American Corey Cogdell, 21, Olympic bronze medalist, said she too recognized Nattrass’s trailblazing efforts in the sport.

“She’s always trying to push the envelope, and we need women like that,’’ Cogdell said.

—Amelia Heagerty

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