THANKS: Coffs Harbour-based shooter John Radford thanked the Grafton community for supporting his world championship venture. PHOTO: Contributed
THANKS: Coffs Harbour-based shooter John Radford thanked the Grafton community for supporting his world championship venture. PHOTO: Contributed

One of a kind shooter thanks Grafton club for his world title

TWO-TIME world shooting champion John Radford has singularly praised Grafton following his amazing achievements.

Earlier this month Radford won the Individual Grand Aggregate and Team events at the IRB World Rimfire Benchrest Championship in France.

On July 16 secretary Chris Gosling congratulated Radford in The Daily Examiner on behalf of Grafton Sporting Shooters Association.

This week Radford returned fire by whole-heartedly expressing his own gratitude.

"I wouldn't have even been on that plane to France if it wasn't for the tremendous work of the Grafton SSAA committee, in particular Chris Gosling, the president Don Parsons and Bob Blacklock, and the Grafton community as a whole," Radford said.

"They're all good guys up there. Terrfic blokes."

The Coffs Harbour resident said he received no assistance from Coffs Harbour SSAA, of which he was the founding president.

Instead, he relied on the generosity of his northern neighbours to dig deep towards covering the estimated $8500 in costs required to make the trip a reality. Ammunition to train for the event escalated to about $5000 alone.

"Grafton took up the cause," he said. "They ran a very successful fundraiser and badgered all the other clubs to lend support."

Radford proceeded to make the most of his opportunity, shooting the highest individual score (1495/1500) as part of Australia A to win the team component with Robin Cox and Jaegen Peet in world record fashion.

He then shot a world-first perfect 1500 out of 1500 targets to win gold in the Individual Grand Aggregate.

"I had a lot of people saying I wouldn't be up to it at my age, but I was determined to keep faith to everyone who got behind me," Radford said.

"I just got lucky and shot the best I've ever shot in open competition at 76 years of age.

"After the last one, the whole stadium gave a standing ovation for about three minutes.

"I stood there with tears running down my face like a big girl. But I wasn't ashamed, I was a proud Aussie."

Incredibly, Australia won every gold and eight out of the 12 medals on offer.



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