Rio 2016 Olympics: Skinner wins gold, 5 things to know about the Victorian shooting girl

Australia rallies with 3 gold medals
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Catherine Skinner Gold medal Rio 2016 Olympics
Catherine Skinner (AUS) of Australia poses with her gold medal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 7, 2016. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Catherine Skinner brought Australia’s tally of Olympic gold medals to three after defeating New Zealand’s Natalie Rooney in women’s trap shooting Monday morning.

The 26-year-old shooter hit 12 of 15 targets, narrowly beating Rooney’s 11/15 score in a tight final battle in Brazil.

For an Olympic debut, Skinner’s race to the gold medal was indeed “surreal.”

"It's one of those things that you say in the mirror before it all happens going 'yeah it's going to happen, it will!' But at the moment it really happened? It's really hard to describe just how surreal this is," she told reporters in Rio de Janeiro after the awarding ceremony.

Here’s five things to know about Australia’s newest Olympic gold-medallist:

1. Skinner has been a shooter since she was 12 years old. In a report, Skinner’s father Ken said, "I took her brother out to the gun club, he was keen on guns, and that was a good way of teaching him how to use a gun ... and Catherine followed us around and reckoned it looked alright and had a go at it. She took it up when she turned 12 and could get a junior permit." Skinner was born on Feb. 11, 1990 in Mansfield, Victoria.

2. Given her Olympic finish, Skinner became Australia’s latest Olympic shooting medallist after Warren Potent took home the bronze medal in 2008 and after Suzy Balogh seized the gold medal in women’s trap in 2004.

3. Skinner managed to earn a degree in Chemical Engineering at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology but it her took eight years to finish. After her Olympic win, Skinner thanked her lecturers for being “flexible” with her. “I doubt I would have got through (my degree) without the support of my lecturers at RMIT,” Skinner said. “There were certainly times when they were getting sick of me because I would have to reschedule exams [because I was going away competing]. Their flexibility was incredible.”

4. Prior to playing at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Skinner placed fifth at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Skinner, however, took home a gold medal after winning Australia’s only shooting medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade, wherein over 10,400 university athletes from 162 countries competed in 13 mandatory and 14 optional sports.

5. Following Skinner’s win, Australia’s tally for the Rio 2016 Olympics include three gold medals, two from swimming and one from shooting, and two bronze medals from diving and archery.