AFTER being introduced to the sport of pistol shooting just 18 months ago, Launceston teenager Bailey Groves has been picked to represent Australia.
He will compete at next month's Oceania Continental Championships as part of Australia's three-man junior men's team.
Groves, 16, became interested in the sport almost by chance after being involved in fencing and archery.
``I tried it out as a bit of fun and never expected to get to the stage where I am now,'' he said.
Groves said he was attracted to air pistol shooting because of the concentration needed in trying to accurately hit the target, and he is a member of the Van Diemen Pistol Club at Mowbray.
``In competition we are allowed 60 shots at the target and you have to concentrate hard to keep your arm still,'' he said.
Groves will take part in the 10-metre air pistol section at the Oceania Continental Championships, which run from November 29 till December 5, and they will be followed by the Youth Nationals the following week.
Both events are to be held at the international centre at Penrith which was the venue for many sports during the Olympic Games in 2000.
Groves earned his way into the Australian team after winning a bronze medal at the national championships held in Western Australia last Easter.
Selection in the team was automatic for the gold and silver medal winners, and Groves was chosen for the third spot after being identified as a shooter capable of handing the step up to national competition.
Air pistol shooting remains an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport, and Groves has his sights on the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast.
But education comes first for the year 12 Newstead College student who has applied to study for an ocean engineering diploma at the Australian Maritime College in 2014.
With the university degree behind him, Groves believes be could then base himself in Europe, which is where the cream of air pistol shooters come from.