On the weekend of April 20-22, the Canadian Airgun Grand Prix was held at the Lou Anderson Training Centre in Cookstown, ON (formerly the Pan Am Shooting Centre). This international open event is one of the premiere airgun events in North America with athletes competing in four airgun events (men/women, pistol/rifle). This year the event brought 128 athletes from half a dozen countries, including large contingents from Aruba and India. The contingent from Range Burlington included 6 athletes in the pistol disciplines, 4 senior men, a male International Junior (17-20) and a Sub-Junior female (under 17).
To begin with the ladies, Olivia Polzer, one of our Saturday morning juniors, came out for her second Grand Prix and
improved her performance greatly, shooting 403 and 411 (of 600) over her two qualification matches. While a 1:1 comparison isn’t really possible because the match format changed January 1st (women now shoot 60 shots, just like the men, instead of 40) both her scores and confidence were up, and she took the gold medal in the Sub-Junior class.
The men had equally positive results. Stewart Burns, our International Junior, had another stellar performance scoring 560 and 548 (again, of 600) in his two qualification matches. This had him finishing in the top 8 overall, which earned him a place in the finals.
Our usual top performer, Dmitriy Pekach (Master Class), put in his usual powerhouse performance, despite being under the weather. His 565 and 553 also secured him a place in the finals. In addition, his contributions to Team No Name, consisting of himself, Phillip Elhage of Aruba, and Mikhail Oussovich (Ontario) was sufficient to win gold in the men’s team event.
New to the club, as well as the sport – locally at least, were a pair of brothers Anton and Dmitriy Raskin. As new athletes, both were assigned to the Temporary Master class. Anton scored 515 and 526 for solid performance. Dmitry, showing off his training in the Soviet military shot 561 on both qualification relays putting him in the finals. Dmitriy’s scores, along with Jim Sandall and Igor Kozic (both Ontario) won the team silver for Team Ontario Gold.
Rounding out the bottom was your author, Ian Pattison in the
Sharpshooter class. I shot 509 and 525, which are typical to high for me. It was sufficient to win bronze in the Sharpshooter class.
After two qualification
matches, the top 8 athletes in each event go on to finals to determine the overall ranking. Out of about 40 men’s pistol athletes, the five men from Burlington had three of the eight spots in the finals.
The way finals works is that once the top 8 are determined, their scores are all zeroed out, putting them on an even footing. Then each athlete shoots a total of 10 shots (two series of 5 shots in 250 seconds) to establish an initial ranking. Once this is done, we then proceed to single shots. In single shots it’s an elimination format. Each athlete shoots one shot in 50 seconds. After every second shot, the athlete with the lowest overall score in eliminated. For the Burlington athletes, Pekach came 6th, Burns 5th, and Raskin (Dmitriy) was third taking the overall bronze.
Full match results can be found here.
About ISSF (Olympic) Air Pistol:
ISSF Air Pistol is an individual event. Athletes shoot one-handed and unsupported using a single shot air pistol (sub 500fps) that shoots 4.5mm lead pellets. The targets are 17cm x 17cm and placed 10m away. Shots are scored 1-10, with the 10 ring being 11.5mm in diameter (a dime is 18mm). The course of fire includes unlimited sighting shots in a 15 minute period followed by 60 scored shots in 75 minutes (90 if paper targets are used). The current men’s world record is 594/600.