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Shooters eye world title

Phil Dunlop. PHOTO/FILE

SHOOTING

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

Speed and accuracy will be the aim of the game for those representing New Zealand at the Shotgun World Shoot in France.

Wairarapa’s Phil Dunlop is in France preparing for the event, which takes place from June 3-10 at the National Shooting Sport Centre in Chateauroux.

Dunlop has previously competed at rifle and handgun world championships, but this will be his first time at the shotgun equivalent.

“I was at the first rifle championships last year in Moscow and I’ve been to South Africa and the Philippines for World Pistol Championships,” he said.

“It’s an action shooting event, so we’re basically rewarded with points per second, rather than just points . . . it’s all about speed and accuracy.”

The event offers a variety of targets – including the usual clay pigeon variety – and involves different styles of shooting.

“There’s a lot of reactive targets – there are clay pigeons amongst them, but also steel targets which can be knocked over and when you knock a steel target over it releases a pair of clay birds.

“You have to keep the gun going because the courses of fire could be anything from eight rounds to about 32 – loading the gun is a critical skill.”

New Zealand would often struggle to compete with the nations who were exposed to “practical shooting” on a regular basis, but Dunlop said they would be trying to match Australia.

“We struggle to compete at an international level because we don’t get the exposure to elite competition, or the financing.”

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