Grafton shooter has sights set on world titles
SHOOTING: Grafton Rifle Club member John Mathews has been named in the Australian team to compete at the World Championships in Portugal in July.
Mathews has been named in the Australian 'A-Team', which comprises three of the nation's best rimfire benchrest shooters.
Current world champion and triple world record holder John Radford, who with Grafton's Bob Blacklock has been coaching Mathews, said he expects the talented shooter to acquit himself well in Portugal.
Radford, who retired from competition after winning the world championship in France last year, said he was delighted that Matthews "had delivered in spades" and qualified to represent Australia.
"It will be simply fantastic if John can carry on my present success and win the world title again for the North Coast region and Grafton in particular," Radford said.
"I pride myself on being able to pick good people, also competitors with the right attributes and two years ago I engaged John Mathews in his capacity as a TV repairman and soon realised he was a perfectionist in everything he undertakes.
"Being suitably impressed by his TV repair skills I realised he would apply the same dedication to his shooting sports so I decided there and then to coach him if he wanted me to coach him. my judgement has proven correct."
Radford said Blacklock deserved to share in Mathews' success. Despite suffering serious health problems Blacklock has provided valuable support for Mathews.
Radford said Mathews would now have to turn his attentions to financing his World Championship campaign.
Radford said the cost would be substantial and he expects Mathews will seek help from the community which had helped him get to France.
"Grafton must ask itself when was the last time the town had someone represent it and Australia at world championship as an officially selected competitor," Radford said.
"So it would be expected Grafton will show its true-blue support for one of its own true champions."
Mathews was the second shooter named in the Australian team.