ORANGE and District Pistol Club shooter Lara Cowling had her first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) state championship title in her sights, all she needed was to fire two more perfect shots in her 10 metre women’s air pistol final at the Cessnock Pistol Club to earn it.
Breathe in, breathe out. Fire. Repeat.
In a clutch situation in her A grade decider, Cowling fired two scores of 10 in the final to earn the title, one that stemmed from some brilliant lead-up shooting in the 10m women’s air pistol (A grade) and the 25m women’s sport pistol (A grade) at the 2015 Wagga and Dubbo ISSF competitions.
“Strangely enough, I wasn’t nervous shooting those two 10s,” Cowling said.
“But I certainly was before that. There is a high element of trust in your ability and process.
“The more you try the worse the result, which seems contradictory but isn’t. Those two 10s were my best shots of the finals.”
She said to finally bag her first title in this event was a thrilling experience.
“This title was definitely a great achievement for me,” she said.
“I have been state champion in my other match which is the 25m women’s sport pistol in both NSW and ACT.”
A huge attendance of approximately 130 athletes attended the championship, with shooters from the ACT, Coleambally, Sydney, Wagga, Cessnock, Ulladulla, St Ives and Muswellbrook lining up for a shot at a state championship.
Cowling said she had high hopes heading into the tournament, but added the conditions of such an event make it nearly impossible to take any sort of form into the big time shoots.
“You only have final matches at state and national level, so it is challenging to train for and to try and simulate those exact conditions,” she said.
“But I had been working on specific finals training so it is always magic to work hard and then the outcome is a great one.”
Cowling said her immediate agenda now includes rest, analyse of her performances of the year and technical skills before working on the basics in preparation for nationals in 2016 to be held in Perth, Western Australia.
Cowling wanted to thank the work of Helen and Brian Johnson, who participated at the state championships in a scoring and judging capacity.
“Without their valuable input and assistance these sort of competitions would be very hard to organise and run,” Cowling added.