Australia ends 4th at world shooting

AUSTRALIA has finished a disappointing fourth in the blue ribbon Palma Match as the World Long Range Shooting Championships wrapped up at the Belmont shooting complex on Sunday.

Ipswich veteran Rob Rush led the Australian team for the first time as coach and master tactician after a stellar 35-year shooting career.

The 16-strong Australian team never recovered after an unforeseen rifle malfunction on day one of the two-day event.

"One of our guys had an equipment failure on day one which probably cost us a medal place in the end," Rush said.

"It caused him to get a fairly out-of-character low score and unfortunately we only picked up the issue after day one was complete."

Defending champions Great Britain took home the Palma title followed by South Africa and the United States.

Rush said despite the technical issues the Great Britain team was a worthy winner.

"They were really way out in front of the rest of the competition," he said.

"I guess without the gun-sight issues we may have been able to secure a medal."

Rush also competed in the individual events finishing 37th in the World Long Range Individual Aggregate standings in a field of 380 shooters.

The two-week event began with Australian National titles as the lead-in to the world championships.

Ipswich shooters John Hislop and Kenny Lobwein both secured medals in the national events.

Rush said his experience as tactician was different to that of a competitor but equally enjoyable.

"In one sense I was happy not to be shooting out there this year," he said.

"You're always worrying about your own individual performance but coaching provides a different type of stress.

The shooting fraternity now looks forward to the 2015 event in the United States and Rush said he is likely to line up for his eighth world championship.

"At this stage I haven't discounted the idea of going, I think I'll probably throw my hat in the ring," he said.

"I guess that says I must have enjoyed the change."

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