Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia target shooter John Matthews won the IRB Benchrest Rimfire shooting competition in Brisbane and is preparing for the world championship qualifier next February Photo Contributed
Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia target shooter John Matthews won the IRB Benchrest Rimfire shooting competition in Brisbane and is preparing for the world championship qualifier next February Photo Contributed Contributed

Local shooter could be on his way to the world championships

NORTHERN NSW target shooter John Matthews has won the first of two national qualifiers that would see him compete in the world championships in Portugal next year.

Sitting a strong 17 points above fourth place, he is confident he will land a place on the Australian A-team.

"It's quite a large amount of points they have to make up to beat me," he said.

"I do shoot at the Coffs Harbour range quite a bit as well ... so it's put me in a bit more of an advantage because I know the range."

The shooter, from Maclean, is a member of the Grafton shooting club and the Lismore club.

Bob Blacklock, a Grafton Club shooter, has been a mentor for Mr Radford who has only been shooting competitively for four years.

"He's got control over his nerves and he's become very regular," he said.

"He's going very well and if he keeps this up I'm sure he's going to Portugal next year.

"I have quite a large background in shooting as in the army and in my job ... I've been shooting all my life," Mr Blacklock said.

John Radford of the Lismore Club is the current duel World Champion and triple world record holder, thanks to a solid performance at the championships in France last year.

He said he has a lot of confidence Mr Matthews could be the next world champion.

"He's a brilliant shooter ... John has shown tremendous improvement," he said.

Mr Matthews said he attributes a lot of his improvement to the Northern NSW Interclub Competition.

"We have an eight club competition ... that competition normally has numerous Australian representatives," he said.

"From that I've learnt quite a lot.

"The hardest part is the ability to read the wind, and the only way to do that is to just practice."

The Coffs Harbour qualifiers will be held next February.



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