Sharp Stephen hits the target

April 20, 2018

Kyabram's Stephen Aitkins (centre) captained Australia to world championship glory recently.

KYABRAM shooter Stephen Atkins recently had a great fortnight of competition.

With the Australian Clay Target Association National Down The Line Championships and International Clay Target Shooting Federation World Down The Line Championships held in Wagga recently, Atkins’ chances of success were high — but he certainly delivered in spades.

After coming third in the AA-grade double-barrel event and runner-up in the Deauville Doubles at the nationals, Atkins stepped up his game for the world championship shoots.

The veteran performed well enough to finish third overall in the international event with 744 points — just one behind the eventual victor.

Atkins’ first day of shooting netted him 296 of a possible 300 points to have him slot into equal-14th, but two near-perfect days of shooting followed.

The Echuca export secured 299 of a possible 300 points on day two and 149 of 150 on day three to storm up the table and onto the podium.

But Atkins’ best performance was yet to come.

The experienced shooter captained his Australian outfit to an overall team victory, something he has been chasing for a while.

‘‘I’ve been in the Australian team a number of times now, but we’ve never managed to get the overall win,’’ Atkins said.

‘‘So I was pretty thrilled with that result.’’

Atkins’ team scored 2350 points — four ahead of another Australian squad and eight in front of New Zealand’s premier clay shooters.

To round his fortnight out, Atkins was also included in the Australian Mackintosh team for a remarkable 21st time.

He was also named captain of the team.

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