Australian Target Rifle Team Dominates at National and World Championship

  • February 14, 2019
  • 6 minute read

Australian Target Rifle Team Dominates at National and World Championship

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Gold! Gold! Gold!

12 February 2019 | Brisbane

The Australian Target Rifle Team has swept the field, taking gold medals across all bar one of the individual and team categories at the 2019 Long Range World Championships, the ICFRA Palma Team Match (known as the America’s Cup of target rifle shooting), and the 158th New Zealand National Championship, the Ballinger Belt and Associated Events. The last time Australia held the ICFRA Palma Match title was in its bicentenary year in 1988.

Australia now boasts the World under 25 Individual Champion won by Chris Schwebel, World Veterans Individual Champion won by Mark Buchanan as well as the crown jewel in long-range shooting, the Individual Long Range World Championship won by Steve Negus. Avid sporting shooter, Minister for Sport and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, Senator Bridget McKenzie, praised the outstanding marksmanship of the Australian team.

“It’s great to see our shooters continue to raise the bar when they raise the barrel. As people know, I love shooting as much as I love seeing Aussies succeed on the international sporting stage.” Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie | Minister for Sport

New coaching plans the “difference maker”

The critical difference to success was the preparation and a new coaching command and control plan developed over four years, spearheaded by team Captain Darren Enslin.

“This sport is all about discipline in making sure everything is aligned. Australia has always boasted elite shooters who ranked well in individual events. However, we focused on developing alignment and integration through moulding our team while tightening coaching and mound procedures, which made the difference in our results this year.” Darren Enslin | PalmaTeam Captain

Under 25s shining through

Darren took a different approach to team selection. In previous years, each event was represented by shooters from individual talent pools. This year, Darren selected a cross-representation of shooters who competed in multiple events, another first for the Australian team. Additionally, the inclusion of younger shooters in team events boosted the overall success.

“Darren took a different approach with the team. He brought the under 25s into the open team, a big step that has never been done before in the Australian team. Their natural ability to focus quickly and get a shot away under conditions where the wind changes at the blink of an eye meant more accuracy and better results.”

“It is also the first time that a father and son have captained an Open and Under 25 Australian World Championship team simultaneously to victory.” Catherine Berry | Palma Team Manager

Chris Schwebel was the most successful of the junior Under 25s, having taken gold in the Under 25s Individual World Championship and Under 25s Team World Championship. He finished with 3 world championship badges and shot into the top 10 for the open world individuals. Mitchell Bailey, son of Jim Bailey who won Gold in the Ballinger Belt, claimed the silver medal behind Steve Negus in the Individual Long Range World Championship and also excelled in the team shooting, leading the scoreboards with his results.

“Congratulations to all our champion shooters, and with Chris Schwebel an under-25 world champion it is good to know sport shooting has a long, strong future.” Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie | Minister for Sport

“These results point to the greatness of success at a scale unsurpassed by other sports for both individual and team results. It would be akin to Australia’s cricket team members all surpassing Don Bradman’s record run rates at the same time taking The Ashes, Champions LeagueTwenty20 and the ICC Cricket World Cup in the same year.”

“This most recent success combined with Australia being the current F-Class Open World Champions for Teams and Rod Davies (Aus) being the current F-Class Open World Champion, clearly demonstrate that Australia is excelling in the sport of Long Range Target Shooting at a level that is unsurpassed internationally. The sport itself has proven to be a tool for the betterment and improvement of the individual sportsman, focusing on mental acuity as well as being inclusive and not specific to a demographic, age, ability or gender.”

“I am proud of these individuals and to be part of a sport that is embracing, inviting and exciting and allows individuals to form a community through their participation, excellence and affiliation with their local clubs.” Albert van Wyk | Director, National Board, NRAA

“Results like these just go to show what an important role grassroots clubs play in our communities. It is why the Liberal and Nationals Government is right behind grassroots sport.” Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie | Minister for Sport

Full Results

  • U/21 World Teams Match – New Zealand 1st, Australia 2nd, USA 3rd
  • Veterans – Tony Loughton Teams Match – Australia 1st, GB, NZ, USA, Canada
  • New Zealand Teams Match – Australia 1st, Great Britain, USA, South Africa Red, South Africa Green, New Zealand, Channel Islands, Canada team 2
  • U/25 Teams Match – Australia 1st, GB, NZ, USA, Canada
  • Ballinger Belt (New Zealand National Championship) – 1st Jim Bailey (Aus), Ben Emms (Aus) 6th, Gillian Web Enslin (Aus) 7th
  • U/21 World Individual Championship, N.Sims 2nd (Aus), S Hopkins (Aus) 3rd (6 Australians in top 10)
  • U/25 World Individual Championship 1st C. Schwebel (Aus) , 2nd M Bailey (Aus) (5 Australians in top 10)
  • Veterans Individual Championship 1st MI Buchanan, 3rd J Jeffery (3 Australians in top 10)
  • International Teams Match – U/21 – 1st Australia, NZ, GB
  • World U/25 Teams Match – 1st Australia, GB, NZ, USA, Canada
  • World Veterans Teams Match – 1st Australia, GB, NZ, USA, Canada
  • 2019 Long Range World Championship – Individual – 1st S Negus (Aus), 2nd M Bailey (Aus) (5 Australians in Top 10)
  • 2019 International Palma Teams – 1st Australia, 2nd Great Britain, 3rd USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Channel Islands

The championships commenced on Monday 28 January on Trentham Rifle Range in Upper Hutt New Zealand, north of Wellington. Many countries participated, including Australia, Great Britain, United States of America, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Channel Islands and individuals from many other countries also competed, including Japan.

Individuals interested in learning more about the sport can contact the NRAA and request information about local club membership.

For more information contact:

Albert van Wyk, Director, National Board, NRAA, 0477 299 446,

Australian Rifle Team Facebook:

About the NRAA:

The NRAA is the peak body for Full-Bore Long-Range Target Shooting in Australia. It is a full member of ICFRA (International Confederation of Full-Bore Rifle Associations) and participates in ICFRA World Championships – Commonwealth Games – as well as other significant International and National events.

The NRAA governs the safety standards and rules of shooting in all nine States and Territories for full-bore shooting, with more than 281 clubs and over 6,000 members across 9 shooting disciplines.