Blaxland's Jonathon Milne on target for paralympics

Seven years ago a freak bodysurfing accident left carpenter Jonny Milne a quadriplegic. His cervical spine was crushed and he spent seven months in hospital recovering.

"I hit my forehead," he said. "I knew straight away. I tried to move my legs. I couldn't stand up. I put two and two together. It was just one of those things," he said of the accident in the ocean.

But not daunted by a life in a wheelchair the keen sportsman looked for something to lift his spirits - archery.

"I always enjoyed being outside. It was something to keep me occupied I didn't want to sit around and watch TV."

Now the 33-year-old is on target for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics after competing in the Archery World Championships in the Netherlands in June and hitting record breaking scores nationally afterwards.

His performance at the world championships was made even more commendable after his custom-made compound bow archery gear was lost by his airline forcing him to miss the practice rounds.

"Because of missing out on almost a week's work of practice ...I went in the tournament and nothing was working initially in the wind," he said. He came second in the last chance qualifier which put him through to qualification.

No stranger to success, Milne has previously won bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The member of the Sydney Olympic Archers trains for multiple hours every day, coaches other athletes, and is supported by the Australian Institute of Sport and Archery Australia.

His father-in-law, David Pettitt, calls him "an inspiration to all young men who have had serious mishaps in their lives".

"Jonny's nail-biting performance on the last day of competition has secured Australia's ticket to Tokyo and Jonny is setting his sights on gold," he said.

Milne said he is much happier with his results since returning from the Netherlands.

"I have now shot an unofficial world record and tied for first place in the Australian Indoor Nationals against able-bodied archers," Milne said.

"I qualified Australia a spot ... the people shooting against me are 20 [points] off my score. Unless I have some major accident and can't physically go, I'm pretty much assured to be going [to Tokyo]."

Milne can drive a car and walk short distances with walking sticks, but has limited core stability. He works in an archery store, but has taken time off now to prepare for next year. He also makes his own arrows and strings for himself and others.

"In the beginning I couldn't open a can, a bottle of water ... my strength isn't back to where it was. I know that because I work with a strength and conditioning coach two days a week with the Institute of Sport."

On the official scoring app for Archery Australia he is ranked number one on male open compound archery. Official archery selection will be at the para nationals in March in Brisbane.

Ricci Cheah, the national head paralympics archery coach, says Milne is a "shoo in" for Tokyo.

"He's the number one ranked in Australia at the moment and most likely to go."

He puts Milne's success down to a steely-eyed focus and support from his family team.

"It's mainly his determination, his willingness to want to improve, his archery IQ, how much he pushes himself to learn and research things. I think I keep him on the path, but everything else he does himself."

Cheah went to Rio with Milne as a coach, one of numerous people supporting him.

"Jon is number one in para and number one in able-bodied."