Australia was well represented in the 36th championships at Tokoroa from November 9-11 with the team of Dann Suthern, Theo Cassidy, Tony Powell, Mark West, Paul Dunn and James O’Brien accompanied by Con Smith and Andrew Judd.
In Friday’s Air Rifle competition, Cassidy and Suthern led the way after round one on 38 and 37 points respectively followed by Powell and NZ’s own Nikki Matheson on 34. The latter then made history in round two when she became the first Kiwi to shoot a perfect 40 in Rifle Silhouette competition.
It all came down to the third and final round where Cassidy emerged triumphant on 114 points, a new NZ 120-shot record, ahead of Suthern (109) and Matheson (108).
Saturday brought the Smallbore event with 20 shooters competing. The die was cast early with Cassidy, Suthern and Matheson battling it out as they would all day, that trio filling the first three places overall on 105, 101 and 100 points respectively.
The event concluded on the Sunday with Light Rifle (Hunter class) and this time it was a home-grown shooter who triumphed, Matheson’s 103-points total giving her a new NZ 120-shot record ahead of Powell and Suthern both on 100, the former taking silver after a shoot-off.
After three wonderful days of shooting the Three Gun result was always going to be close and ultimately the top prize went to Theo Cassidy on 317 for an NZ 360-shot record ahead of Nikki Matheson (311) and Dann Suthern (310) both of whom broke the previous record of 306.