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Gunslinger Grossi goes back-to-back

Friday, 12th April, 2019

Ben ‘Henry Sharps’ Grossi in action at the Australian Single-Action Shooting Championships last week. PICTURE: Still Memories Ben ‘Henry Sharps’ Grossi in action at the Australian Single-Action Shooting Championships last week. PICTURE: Still Memories

By Tyler Hannigan

Broken Hill’s Ben Grossi has further established himself as one of Australia’s best single-action shooters with a fifth Australian championship win last weekend in Victoria.

Defending champion Grossi once again held off the competition to be crowned the overall winner for 2019. This was his first time going back-to-back at the national championships and his fifth win in his career having taken the title in 2004, 2014 and 2016.

Grossi’s success on the national stage last year had him crowned Broken Hill’s 2018 Sportsperson of the Year ahead of other finalists Kalyce Pressler (swimming) and Jenny Stephenson (golf).

Grossi said that while two in a row was a long-time goal, he’s already looking ahead.

“It was my first time going back-to-back and it was definitely a goal for me,” he said.

“It’s something I hadn’t done and something I am very happy to have ticked off (but) next is the trifecta.”

The competition sees shooters using replica guns from the ‘Old West’-era compete in cowboy attire and as characters from that time. Grossi is known as ‘Henry Sharps’.

Stages typically consist of around two dozen shots - 10 pistol, 10 rifle and a varied amount of shotgun - and the length will vary depending on how the course it set out. 

Competitors are judged on their time completing the stage and their accuracy, with penalties for missing targets and shooting targets out of order.

While Grossi cruised to victory in 2018, he blew that margin out of the water for his 2019 win that also saw him win a number of other events.

“I won in 2018 by 13 seconds and this year I won by 35 seconds which is quite a large margin,” Grossi said.

“I shot really well.

“It was quite a difficult shoot, more difficult than last year but there is still room for improvement. I also won the speed pistol, speed shotgun and the top 16 shoot off.”

As well as next year’s national championships, Grossi has his sights set on a world title if family commitments allow.

“The 2020 world titles is definitely something I want to go to,” he admitted. 

“I will be partly sponsored to go to it, but it’s something I will have to sit down and talk to my wife about considering I have a little fella on the way. Family comes first.”

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