Ashley Carroll shooting at the 2018 ISSF World Cup on March 6, 2018 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Ashley Carroll was already having a good year, but it got a lot better when she became the first world champion in women's trap shooting from the U.S. in 20 years on Wednesday. Cindy Gentry won the world title in 1999.
The 25-year-old from Solvang, California, withstood the pressure put on her by China’s Xiaojing Wang after the final six were whittled down to just those two in Lonato del Garda, Italy, to claim her first-ever individual world medal, hitting 42 out of 50 targets.
Prior to Wednesday, Carroll had made the finals once in six trips to the world championships, finishing sixth in 2017.
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This year, she qualified in second place, but led the final from the start. She was the last competitor to miss a shot, starting 9-for-9, and through 25 targets she’d missed just twice.
After Spain’s Fatima Galvez dropped out to claim the bronze medal, the competition became tense as Carroll and Wang stared down the final 10 targets tied with 34 out of 40 shots made.
Carroll missed on her 42nd shot and Wang took the lead, but two shots later Wang would miss, and then miss again, and two shots later miss again to put Carroll back in the driver’s seat. Carroll missed her second-to-last shot, which could have guaranteed the win, but her final shot was right on the money.
Already this season Carroll won a world cup bronze medal that secured the U.S. a quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and two world cup silver medals in trap mixed team. She also has two world cup gold medals to her name, but this was her first time on the podium at the world championships in the individual competition. The U.S. women’s team, including Carroll, won team gold in 2017.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.