Gympie shooter sets sights on National Championships
GYMPIE Smallbore Rifle Club's Shane Jones hasn't been shooting long but is already making a mark on the national scene.
Jones competed at the Target Rifle Australia National Championships in Sydney over Easter and took it up to some of Australia's best shooters.
On day one of the 50m Prone Rifle competition, Jones fired a personal best score of 592 out of a possible 600 points - equalling the score of current world champion Warren Potent.
Potent shot alongside Jones just one lane away.
Jones said it was good to be up there with the big guns.
Windy conditions at the back end of his round helped him focus.
"I knew I was getting a good score and turned around and saw my mates all giving me a thumbs-up," he said.
Jones continued to excel in the event and eventually finished seventh - his best result in a national event and good enough to earn him selection in his first Jim Smith Cup team.
It contains the top 20 prone shooters in Australia.
Jones started shooting four-and-a-half years ago, picking up the sport while taking his son Mitchell to the local range.
He said if his son would have done well at a high level of competition too had he not joined the army.
Although he recorded four of his five personal best scores and took many other shooters by surprise, Jones said the performance was no surprise to him.
"I've been putting in a fair bit of training in the lead-up to these nationals," he said.
"I knew I would go reasonably well."
Jones began a training routine at the beginning of the year, shooting up to three times a week.