October 16th, 2011

Latest Results From World Rifle Championships in Australia

One of the most prestigious rifle competitions in the world is underway right now at the Belmont Shooting Facility, near Brisbane, Australia. Many of the best sling and irons marksmen (and women) in the world are competing for individual and team honors. American aces such as SGT Sherri Gallagher, Noma Mayo, Trudie Fay, Nancy Tompkins, Bob Gamboa, Bryan Litz, Robert Mead, and John Whidden are representing the Red, White, and Blue down-under, but they and their American teammates are facing stiff opposition from the Brits, South Africans, Canadians, New Zealanders, and the host Australians.

You can get complete individual and team results on the World Rifle Championships Website. Results are updated daily, so you can follow the action, which continues through October 22nd. Russ Theurer is also providing regular reports in our Shooters’ Forum.

One of the best performances so far was turned in by Bryan Litz, Berger Bullets’ Ballistician. In the Senior Australia Team match last week, Bryan outshot every other individual on the course, nailing a perfect 200-26V to tie the Championship Record. This was a brilliant display of marksmanship by Bryan. At the Awards Ceremony after the match, Bryan received a long standing ovation from his fellow competitors.

You’ll find lots of match photos in the official match Photo Gallery. Plus, Facebook users can access hundreds of photos uploaded by members of the USA Young Eagles Team. Young American shooters have been performing well. Russ Theurer reports: “Team USA Red won the Under 25 Australia Team Match, while Team USA Blue came from behind at 1000 to place third. Young Eagle Joshua Lehn was high score shooter of the team match of all teams combined.” Below are photos of the Young Eagles from Day 5, the Under 25 match:

Photos courtesy USA Young Eagles.
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October 15th, 2011

John Whidden Wins Queen’s Prize Match at World Championships

Our friend John Whidden accomplished another milestone in his storied shooting career. This time John topped an extremely competitive field of Palma shooters at the World Rifle Championships in Australia. Earlier today Whidden nailed a 100-13V on the final day of the Queen’s Prize Match to win the three-day event with a 399-46V Aggregate. (A “V” is equivalent to the “X” in American matches). John’s Day 1 score of 150-012V and Day 2 tally of 149-21V were enough to overtake early Palma Teammate Norman Anderson, and hold off the strong-finishing SGT Sherri Gallagher on Day 3.

When the dust had settled, John took the Queen’s Prize Match by a single point over runner-up Sherri Gallagher. In fact, Sherri and the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th-place finishers all had identical 398 scores, so V-counts were used as tie-breakers. Yes this match was that close.

John Whidden World Rifle Championship.

By tradition, fellow competitors carried Whidden and his green John Deere-sashed rifle to the awards in a ceremonial sedan-chair. John seems to be enjoying the ride. The above photo was taken by fellow Palma Teammate Dave Cloft. Overall, Americans did very well in the Queen’s Prize Match, taking four of the Top 10 places. South Africa, a strong force at the last World Championship, had three shooters in the Top 10. Here’s how the Top 10 finished in the Queens Match:

1. John Whidden, USA: 399-046V
2. Sherri Gallagher, USA: 398-054V
3. Jim Bailey, Australia: 398-044V
4. Petrus Haasbroek, South Africa: 398-043V
5. Norm Anderson, USA: 398-043V
6. Colin Cole, North Arm: 398-039V
7. Andre Du Toit, South Africa: 397-048V
8. Johannes Du Toit, South Africa: 397-048V
9. Geoffrey Grenfell, Bendigo: 397-048V
10. Tom Whitaker, USA: 397-047V

It looks like the Yanks are picking up steam in the World Rifle Championships, which continue with both individual and team events through October 22nd. (We’ll have a report on the hot-shooting USA Young Eagles team tomorrow.)

Story by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.

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