Emerald marksman aiming high for prized shooting title
LAST year Emerald target shooter Nick Williamson came within a whisker of claiming the F-class, or long range division's, most-coveted title, the National Queen's Prize.
After five days of shooting and painstaking competition, the veteran marksman finished two points behind the leader in the overall standings. Understandably gutted, he vowed to go one better in 2013 when the competition next meets in June.
It hasn't been all bad news for Williamson, who sells guns and ammunition supplies from his Emerald home. On the contrary, it's rare if he doesn't win, such is his skill.
He won seven of the nine competitions he entered in 2012 and placed second in the remaining two.
Williamson also played a key role in Queensland's victory at the national team shooting championship in Mackay last year.
He top scored in the state team for the second competition year and helped the five-man Queensland team win all four trophies on offer at the championships.
"It's very ferociously contested all over Australia. You just do your best and try and win for the state," Williamson said.
"Our team captain made a speech and said he's been tracing around Australia for 25 years for various teams and this is the first time he's been captain of a winning team and told us how proud he was."
He even got a good belly laugh from special guest and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during a post-competition speech a recent Queensland meet.
These achievements are just a glimpse into what has been a long and illustrious shooting career, but one Williamson admits could always do with a bit of tweaking.
"I think there's still a little bit of improvement in the old fella yet," he said.