PERSEVERANCE: Chinchilla shooter Graham Sells will compete in the Queensland F Open rifle team in September at Pinjar, Western Australia.
PERSEVERANCE: Chinchilla shooter Graham Sells will compete in the Queensland F Open rifle team in September at Pinjar, Western Australia. Brooke Duncan

Sells is focussing on form ahead of comp

SHOOTING: After a form crash left him spiralling into self-doubt Chinchilla's Graham Sells is climbing back to glory.

The long-range rifle shooter has been competing in F Open class since 2011, what he describes as the "Formula One” of the sport.

Sells has long been on the up-and-up, having been selected on state and national teams - even playing for Australia at the Trans Tasman competition in New Zealand last year, following it up by winning his first two ranges at the North Arm prize meeting.

Selected again to play for Queensland in 2019, things took a downward turn at the start of the year when he suffered a form crash, having taken a break from the sport.

"(It) would've been very easy to quit and it was only because of Queensland teams I kept on trying to work through it,” Sells said.

"I had to wholesale everything, sent my scope away, just looked at my position. I must have shot a thousand rounds to try and get back into form again.”

It was a frustrating and painful experience for the sportsman, who'd been in "cracking” form beforehand.

"It's like a glitch in your swing in golf, y'know, Tiger Woods just whacking them all the time and all of a sudden he can't hit. I had the same trouble,” Sells said.

"Lots of doubt, and once that happens you're doubting your skill, you're doubting your wind calls, you're doubting everything.

"You're seeing vertical - is that me, is that the gun - and you just spiral out of control and it can be a bit hard.”

As part of a self-funded team too, Sells said he didn't "want to be that guy” to let the team down.

But his perseverance and dedication is paying off, after finishing well at the Queensland Queens series earlier this month.

Sells said the event dates back to the 1850s when Queen Victoria put up a prize for civilian accuracy, and there are both state events, and a national one.

After tough conditions and struggling to return to form, it was devastating when he missed out on the overall win by only three points.

"It's a heartbreak because I still shot really consistently in some awful conditions,” Sells said.

Nonetheless the event heralds a slow but steady return to his top form, just in time for the F Class national championships in Pinjar, WA next month.

Sells thanked his family, the O'Leary family for the use of one of their paddocks to practice, and the wider Chinchilla community for their support.


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