Waikato duo win world trapshooting titles

BEN STRANG
Last updated 05:00 13/03/2014
Natalie Curtis
MARK TAYLOR/ Fairfax NZ

NEW WORLD CHAMPION: Natalie Curtis.

Jon Beddis
MARK TAYLOR/ Fairfax NZ
MEN'S CHAMPION: Jon Beddis.

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Home advantage came good at the Waikato Clay Target Club as Jon Beddis, of Huntly, and Matamata's Natalie Curtis won their respective Down The Line Trap Shooting World Championships.

Beddis was faultless yesterday, shooting 100 of 100 targets for 300 points, giving him an overall total of 895 out of a possible 900.

Curtis' run to the title was a little tougher, having to come back from coughing up her lead during the 50-shot finals to edge Timaru's Natalie Rooney by one point.

Huntly man Beddis said he was competing at his first World Championships, and it couldn't have been a better debut at the event.

Heading into the finals, Beddis had scored 745 out of 750, with three points awarded for hitting the clay pigeon with the first barrel, and two for a second barrel hit.

That was after a perfect run on Wednesday morning, propelling him into a final grouping with defending World Champion Darryl Nicholls and English shot Austin Coxhead.

Nicholls was under the pump early in the final, missing a target with both shots to drop three points, while Coxhead dropped points with two second barrel scores.

The drama was ramped up with 15 shots remaining, as a faulty speaker meant clay pigeons were not firing, and led to a short break.

An electrician by trade, Beddis would have loved to have jumped in and fixed the problem, but had to wait it out and fight off ''jelly legs'' to make his last 15 shots and take the world title.

''I'm pretty elated, eh. This is the worlds, this is the pinnacle of our sport, so it's a pretty big buzz at the moment,'' he said.

''I was reasonably confident. The team did well, we won the senior team match, so we had a bit of inside knowledge. I was feeling good.''

Wife Sharon appeared to find the final harder than her husband, unable to stand still and often looking away as Beddis was about to shoot.

''They're more emotional than me, but that's always the way. They're really happy for me.''

Coxhead finished second in a shoot-off against Nicholls, while Kiwi Stuart Sutherland finished fifth.

For Matamata's Curtis, it had been 10 years of hard toil to get back the world championship she first won in 2004.

Since then the best she has been able to  manage was a second placing, but to win the title back was special, particularly being in the Waikato.

''I've shot here a lot,'' she said.

''In club matches and at school. I've been here quite often so I think it might have helped.

''I wasn't really feeling nervous out there. I felt comfortable being here, I guess because it's home for me, so that helped a lot.''

It didn't mean there weren't any nerves, and her first 25 shots in the final certainly didn't go to plan.

Curtis missed three full targets in four attempts, dropping her into second place in the standings behind defending champion Natalie Rooney.

Rooney couldn't take advantage, dropping points in her final 25 shots, while Curtis was faultless in the second half of the final to grab the win.

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''It's been 10 years of trying to win this title back, so it's pretty special,'' Curtis said.

''Hopefully,  I don't have to wait that long again.''

The New Zealand men's and women's teams also took out the teams titles at the world championships, while the junior team finished third.

- Waikato Times

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