Shooter on target
By TONY WHITE
GRAFTON-Coffs Harbour optometrist Elaine Walsh has a keen eye for targets.
Walsh has just returned home after representing Australia in rifle shooting at the Oceania Championships in Brisbane.
One of the best Australian exponents of the demanding discipline, Walsh competed in three events ? Ladies Air Rifle, Ladies Rifle Team and Three Position Team. She finished fourth, third and third respectively.
The Three Position event, using a .22 rifle, encompasses 20 shots at a 50m target in prone, standing and kneeling position.
The Australian team contained 195 members for the bi-annual Championships, previously held in New Zealand on the past two occasions.
"I just missed a medal in the Ladies Air Rifle which was a real bugger," Walsh lamented.
Walsh is no stranger to Oceania Championships having competed for Australia five times.
She has also represented the country in the World Cup in Atlanta, is a threetime gold medalist at the Queensland Championships, and toured Europe competing in Munich, Austria and Slovenia.
This year's World Championships will take place in Solvenia, Yugaslavia, in July. Eliminations for the event will be held next January.
Walsh took up rifle shooting around 12 years back.
"I was living in the Snowy Mountains at the time and it is a big sport in Europe," she said. "One day some European friends took me along, I did well and took it (shooting) up.
"With full-time work (Clack and Walsh Optometrist) and a small child I only get to practise two or three times a week but I love competing and love my sport."