Ryan in South Korea for Junior World Champs

In July of this year, Ryan Booth, aged 17, went on a 10-day trip to Changwon, South Korea, where he participated in the 2023 Shooting Junior World Championship, representing New Zealand in the 50m Mens Prone Target Shooting event. Ryan was one of two under-21-year-old Juniors representing NZ, with Shania Harrison-Lee also competing. Ryan and Shania were amongst over 500 competitors over a range of different shooting disciplines, such as shotgun and indoor air rifle events.

This was Ryan’s first time travelling overseas to represent NZ on the world stage and it was an amazing experience to say the least. The trip was an opportunity to study other competitors and their equipment up close and compete against the world’s best under high pressure conditions.Our local 50m shooting range at McLeans Island was built for the 1974Commonwealth Games and currently has a 30-mound capacity, meaning we can have up to 30 people shooting at a time. This is one of the largest outdoor shooting ranges in NZ. In South Korea, Ryan was shooting on an 80-mound range, located on top of a 3-storey building! This introduces some interesting conditions, such as swirling winds to account for.

One of the biggest challenges with shooting in South Korea was the heat and high humidity. During our 10 days there, the temperature averaged around 28degs, with a humidity above 80%. Training leading up to the competition was in cold winter conditions, so wearing thick shooting jackets, the body quickly got very hot, very fast. At the end of the challenging match, Ryan was placed 40th with a score of 602.6,which was close to the expected score considering the conditions. The winning score for the match was 625.0 which was an exceptional score. 

Ryan has returned with some new equipment and plenty of new ideas and advice to continue improving his skills and scores. Being able to compete at such a prestigious event was an absolute privilege and has provided an invaluable experience to fuel the desire to continuously improve. The sights are now set for the Oceania event being held in Brisbane in November.