On tar­get for na­tional team

SHOOTER SUC­CESS­FUL AT NA­TIONAL TI­TLES IN WESTERN AUS­TRALIA

Shepparton News - - SPORT -

Young Mooroopna clay tar­get shooter Xavier Rus­sell has re­turned from the Sport­ing Clays Aus­tralia Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Western Aus­tralia with the SubJu­nior (un­der-17) ti­tle.

Xavier, 15, who in July won the Sport­ing Shoot­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia’s Na­tional 5-Stand SubJu­nior Cham­pi­onship in Shep­par­ton, trav­elled to Ger­ald­ton with his dad last week for the three-day Sport­ing Clays event from Septem­ber 8 to 10.

Shot over eight rounds of 25 tar­gets, Xavier fin­ished with a score of 164 from the pos­si­ble 200 to win the Sub-Ju­nior ti­tle.

He was a bit un­cer­tain go­ing into the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘I was ner­vous be­cause it was my first Sport­ing Clays Na­tion­als and I thought there would be a lot of Sub-Ju­nior shoot­ers there with a higher skill level than me,’’ he said.

It proved to be a small field of just five shoot­ers in the Sub-Ju­nior class, but Xavier’s score had him a clear win­ner and placed him with the sixth best score in the cat­e­gory above, Ju­niors, in which shoot­ers are aged up to 20.

The win sees him in­cluded in the Na­tional Train­ing Squad, which will com­pete at the Sport­ing Clays Aus­tralia Grand Prix in South Aus­tralia in March.

Fol­low­ing the Grand Prix, each shooter’s scores from that event are added to their tally from the Na­tion­als and the three best Ju­niors will be in­vited to join the Aus­tralian Team to com­pete in the Fed­er­a­tion In­ter­na­tionale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse World Cham­pi­onships in France next year.

Xavier said the op­por­tu­nity to take part in the Worlds would be fan­tas­tic.

‘‘I think it would be an ex­cit­ing and mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he said.

Asked whether he thought be would get that far, Xavier was not too con­fi­dent, but said he would give it his best shot.

‘‘I think I have a slim chance of mak­ing the team,’’ he said.

‘‘Over the next seven months I will hope­fully be train­ing with the Bendigo Acad­emy of Sport to fur­ther my men­tal con­cen­tra­tion and shoot­ing abil­ity in prepa­ra­tion for the Grand Prix in March.’’ Never looked like miss­ing:

OVER THE NEXT SEVEN MONTHS I WILL HOPE­FULLY BE TRAIN­ING WITH THE BENDIGO ACAD­EMY OF SPORT TO FUR­THER MY MEN­TAL CON­CEN­TRA­TION AND SHOOT­ING ABIL­ITY . . . —XAVIER RUS­SELL

Xavier Rus­sell in ac­tion dur­ing the Sport­ing Clays Aus­tralia Na­tion­als at Ger­al­ton in Western Aus­tralia last week­end.

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