From Mudgee, to New Caledonia, and then onward and upwards to Budapest.
That’s the trajectory for Mudgee marksman Ross Christian, who is proving that Australia still has a place in the world elite of shooting clays.
Last month saw him prove his talents at the 29th FITASC Oceania Sporting Championships, held in the islands of New Caledonia, where he and the rest of the Australian team took first place in their category.
There, alongside Alan Backman and Daryl Mawson, Christian claimed the Super Vet champion spot in a strong field that included competitors from New Zealand, New Caledonia and French Polynesia as well as a shooter from Thailand.
Impressively for the Australian contingent that included nearly 40 representatives, all squads took podium positions.
Christian himself shot 154 total, recording a percentage total of 90.59%, and was only beaten by Backman (100%) and Gordon Macphee (94.12%).
“I came in the top three in everything leading up to this, and then was able to do it again and that’s put me in the Australian team for the worlds,” he said.
Now he has confirmed that he will be traveling to Budapest, Hungary, to represent Australia in the world championships in the beginning of July.
Earned off the back of Christian’s scintillating season form, the keen-eyed gunner is looking forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with the world’s best, including George Digweed, multi-World and European English sport shooter clay-shooting champion.
“We’re in the process of organising everything to get us to Budapest and compete,” he said.
“There we will face England, France, America, Hungary, Germany – all the FITASC members will be there, and over 600 competitors will be there for the cut-off.
“Coming up against big-name shooters like George Digweed, who has thirteen or fourteen world titles, as well as a lot of guys out of America who shoot at the Olympics will be a great challenge.”
Christian, and all the Australian representatives, raved about the New Caledonian event.
“It was the most spectacular ground I’ve ever been to,” he said.
“The target quality was one of the best I’ve ever seen, and it was the best all-round shoot I’ve ever been to.”
Confidence is high for Australia, but Christian doesn’t want to build up his chances.
“Australia will do well – as an individual it will be a great experience for me,” he said.
“If I get lucky I get lucky, but my expectations are tempered and if I do well then that’s just an added bonus. If you have your speech written before you get there it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”