New targets: Balogh sets her sights on life after competitive shooting

TOP GUN: Olympic gold medalist and former Orange resident Suzy Balogh is now employed as head coach of the Australian Clay Target Association. Photo: The Liverpool Champion.

TOP GUN: Olympic gold medalist and former Orange resident Suzy Balogh is now employed as head coach of the Australian Clay Target Association. Photo: The Liverpool Champion.

OLYMPIC gold medalist Suzy Balogh is preparing for life after competitive shooting.

Balogh, who was based in Orange when she won gold in the women’s trap at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is looking towards Australia’s shooting prodigies in accepting the head coaching role at the Australian Clay Target Association.

And with three female Australian Olympic trap shooters currently ranked in the top 10 in the world, she is looking forward to developing talented juniors who are “knocking on the door” of the big time in the sport.

The 41-year old, who now lives in Queanbeyan, fell short of making the Australian female shooting squad for July’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games, finishing behind fellow top 10 shooters Laetisha Scanlan and Catherine Skinner, who claimed Australia’s only two spots on a points basis.

While she would still like to compete for a few years to come, she said the Rio 2016 Olympics was not in her career plans at the moment, but she is eager to transfer her knowledge and skills to junior shooters.

“It’ll be my job to help develop coaches as well as develop young clay target shooters,” Balogh said.

Balogh said the talent pool in women’s shooting at the moment was very promising as it made it harder for shooters to make representative teams, which as a consequence, lifts the standard of shooting.

“It’s something I’m actually proud of in winning a medal all those years ago [Athens 2004] and I’ve helped develop all these junior shooters,” she said.

She competed in the first World Cup event this year in Tucson, Arizona, and finished one place outside making the finals in seventh.

While she has started her new coaching job, she will also travel to Kazakhstan on May 16 for the next World Cup event where she will attempt to qualify for the World Championship event in Spain in September.

“I want to win a medal at these world championships,” she said.

“I’ve won 10 medals at world championships in the past - I’ve come sixth, fifth and fourth, and I’d like to end my career on a high.”

“Rio isn’t in my plan. I’m preparing athletes for Rio.”

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