AUSSIE CHAMPION: Georgina Graham, 15, won gold at the archery national championships, breaking a 20-year scoring record in the process. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

WINNING a gold medal and setting a national archery record was worth the two-day drive to Ipswich for Georgina Graham.

The 15-year-old dominated at the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) National Championships in Queensland in her division, finishing just shy of a perfect score.

The Sunraysia Academy of Sport (SAS) athlete scored 521, breaking the previous 20-year Australian record of 514.

In IFFA competitions, archers compete at 28 targets, and are allowed four arrows at each, which are worth a maximum of five points per shot.

A perfect round is 560, which goes to show the brilliance of Georgina’s performance.

“I was really nervous,” Georgina said of approaching the national record.

“I was training a lot so I felt prepared, but I was up against some really good archers.

“Luckily for me I was consistent across the five-day competition and was able to come away with the gold medal.

“It took me a while to get the record shoot because I was quite nervous, I really wanted to get that record.

“I was very happy and very relieved once I got it. I didn’t do as well on my last two targets as I would have liked but you can’t complain with winning a gold medal.”

The youngster from Mallee Sunset Field Archers has only spent two years in competitive archery.

Georgina and her family shifted to Mildura from Cunnamalla in south-west Queensland three years ago. It was at a school camp back up north where she first took up archery.

“For a first timer I didn’t do too badly, and I began to fall in love with it,” she said.

“It came to Christmas that year and I was asking Mum and Dad for a bow. It all kind of took off from there.

“The first year when I joined the Mallee Sunset Field Archers, I thought I’ll just wait and see how I go, but eventually I decided to compete and I actually won my first shoot.

“The club has been amazing with their support. Everything I know now about competitive archery has come from them.”

As a SAS athlete, Georgina spends three days a week completing strength and conditioning training, as well her own sessions and shooting practice.

“Training involves a lot of shoulder and core work,” she said.

“The shoulders are obvious but if you’re core is not stable you can’t aim properly.”

While there are no more major competitions this year, Georgina will not be putting her feet up just yet.

She hopes to spend the rest of the year training hard and competing locally with Mallee Sunset Field Archers, as well as in Melbourne and interstate in South Australia.

The sky looks to be the limit for this golden girl.