Two of Pirongia Gun Club's rising stars have made the New Zealand clay target team to contest the 2018 World DTL Championships in Australia.
Michael Vincent qualified for the number two open team and Bradley Parrott qualified for the junior number three team.
Shooters were selected for the World DTL (Down The Line) team over the highest seven scores from Districts, Provincial, Island and National Championships.
Two scores had to be from either the North or South Island Championships or the National Championships (these counted as two scores). Qualifying started in November 2016 and has just been completed.
New Zealand Clay Target intends to enter the maximum number of teams at the World Championships from March 24-27 — three (five-person) open teams, three ladies, three juniors, three veterans and three super veterans teams (all three-person teams).
The ICTSF (International Clay Target Shooting Federation) run this event every second year and the venue alternates between the Southern and Northern hemisphere.
The Australian Clay Target Association is hosting the event at the ACTA National Ground, Tasman Road Wagga Wagga NSW.
New Zealand Clay Target Association spokesperson, Adrienne Sears said this is an excellent opportunity for athletes to compete at this level without having to travel to the Northern hemisphere.
"Last year the World Championships were held in Ireland and both our Junior and Veteran teams placed third.
"Next year the World Championship is being held immediately after the Australian Clay Target Association's National Championships. Our team members do not have to compete in the Nationals, although many have chosen to do so."
Vincent and Parrott have already shown that they can compete with the best in the world.
As a 20-year-old, Vincent qualified in the top 40 at the 2014 Down-The-Line Trap Shooting World Championships in Hamilton.
Competition was fierce with more than 640 shooters competing on the Waikato Clay Target Club range at Ureka.
He came away with a ranking of ninth junior in the world and second New Zealand junior.
Under world conditions, competitors shoot 100 points score the first day, 100 points score on day two and 50 points score on the third and final day.
The top 10 per cent of each grade then shoot another 50 rounds to find the winner.
"The pressure was on, you score three points for a first barrel, two points for a second barrel, and nothing if you miss," Vincent told the Courier. Parrott exceeded expectations, finishing second in the World C grade championships three years ago when competing as a first year member of Pirongia Gun Club.
The then 15-year-old shot 281 out of a possible 300 clays at the worlds for an overall total of 823/900 points.
Sears said there are no organised training camps between now and when the world champs commence.
"No doubt many shooters will be doing their own training at their local clubs.
"Both Michael (Vincent) and Bradley (Parrott) are affiliated to the Waikato Club, a national ground that has some of the largest facilities in New Zealand. It is a very active club, so they will have many opportunities to practice."
Pirongia Gun Club shoots on the first Sunday of the month. New members of all ages and abilities from rank novices, are welcome.
For all enquiries contact club president Keith McBeth on 872-5557.