Olympic History: Olympic debutante
Highlights: Winning gold at the 2017 New Delhi World Cup
Year Born: 1995
State Born: Victoria
Penny Smith began shooting in 2009 after ‘falling into the sport’ through her brother who she considers her inspiration. Starting out at Victoria’s Noorat Gun Club, Smith quickly climbed the ranks to national level.
She experienced international success as a junior, winning Trap silver at the 2013 Oceania Championships.
Competing as a senior, she won her first world cup gold medal in Delhi in 2017, outscoring London 2012 Olympic Champion Jessica Rossi of Italy.
Missing selection to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games fuelled Smith’s fighting spirit and she surged to success in 2019. “Some things like that make you a better athlete and a better person,” she said.
In a breakthrough year, Smith won gold at the 2019 Lahti World Cup and in doing so secured Australia a quota spot for Tokyo. In the same year she won Trap Team Mixed bronze at the World Championships with shooting partner Thomas Grice.
In 2020, Smith achieved an Australian selection trial clean-sweep when she won all four nomination events including the Commonwealth and National titles, defeating Rio gold medallist Catherine Skinner and Rio Olympian Laetisha Scanlan to top the leader board.
Smith saved her best performance for the final event which she won with a world-class personal best 47 from 50 targets and earned herself a spot on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team.
Growing up on the land, Smith was surrounded by horses with her mother Kim boasting a connection to the Olympic equestrian discipline of Eventing as Andrew Hoy’s groom at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.