Ipswich world champion aiming for rare treble
BEING the world champion chasing a record third consecutive title, Karla Blowers knows she'll be in the sights of her international competitors.
However, the Ipswich sporting shooter welcomes the challenge in France next month.
Blowers, 31, is defending her open ladies title won competing at the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) world shoot, held every three years.
"I know what to expect,'' Redbank-based Blowers said.
"I know that I have to play my own game. If something bad happens . . . the gun jams . . . just keep my focus and don't try and pick up time. Just keep going.
"It's a marathon, not a sprint.''
They are valuable lessons she learnt winning the world title in the US three years ago after her first success in Greece in 2011.
Blowers is preparing for her fifth world shoot from August 28-September 2, having also placed 20th in her division in South Africa (2002) and rising to 10th in Ecuador (2005).
"There's two other people who have won the same title twice. No one has ever won it three times,'' she said. "So that's my goal.''
Achieving the rare treble would be a fitting reward in her 20th year of shooting competition.
Using a handgun in elite outdoor tournaments, Blowers loves the precision and complicated formula required to decide a winner.
She has to shoot over distances from one metre to 10m, moving around the range, competing on five days during a six-day period.
"There's so much involved with it,'' she said. "It's the fact that's it's a combination of speed and accuracy.
"So you can't shoot really fast and get bad points and you can't get really great points and be slow.''
She'll be up against other world-class competitors eager to end her rule as ladies open champion.
However, the former Wide Bay competitor is planning to use her remaining time before leaving to continue her pre-event training schedule.
"At the moment, I'm shooting both days on the weekend and I'm shooting Tuesday and Thursday mornings before work,'' she said.
"It takes up a lot of time and the days that I'm not shooting, I'm loading ammo or I'm cleaning and that sort of thing.
"Shooting and work and sleep is pretty much what I'll be doing until we leave.''
Blowers works in administration for a security company. She has won the national title eight times, including the past six events.
She became interested in shooting as a teenager, following her family's lead. She shot with clubs in the Maryborough and Wide Bay area before joining the Ipswich Pistol Club five years ago.
Despite the complex nature of her discipline's scoring system, she enjoys testing herself.
"It's fun. It gets adrenalin pumping,'' she said.
"You try to go as fast as possible while trying to keep your focus on the target.
"It's just interesting and the thing about it is there is no such thing as a perfect score. You can always improve.''
Like other forms of outdoor shooting, adverse conditions can test a competitor's mental strength at major international events.
"Weather-wise, it's not so much how it affects the bullet,'' she said. "It's more about how it affects us.
"If it's windy we have to be more stable in our shooting position.
"You can't stop a match because it's raining because people come from all over the world.''
The Chateauroux range she'll compete at in France is purpose built for her handgun event.