In an interview with the News at the end of last month, Danielle Marcotte, 16, said she considered the 2009 Alberta Provincial Handgun Championship held Saturday in Calgary a “trial run.”
Competing in her very first .22-calibre competition, she didn’t shoot like someone testing the waters, but instead like an old-pro, winning gold in the junior women’s 25-metre sport pistol event.
“I don’t have a problem with (shooting a .22)—it has more power obviously (and) it has a recoil,” said Marcotte, who won with a score of 533/600. “My .22 is heavier and the rules are different, but other than that it was about the same, with technique and the sights it’s all the same.
“I do 60 shots with the .22 instead of 40 like I do with the air (pistol).”
The sport pistol competition was split between two events, firing 30 rounds of precision shooting followed by 30 rounds of “rapid fire.”
“In the precision shooting we have five minutes per five shots, which is a lot of time,” said Marcotte. “For the rapid fire, once they call ‘ready,’ I have to hold my gun (down) at a 45-degree angle and, when the target turns towards you, you have three seconds to shoot once and then you bring your gun back down. And then the target turns away from you.”
Seven seconds later another target will turn towards the shooter and the process repeats itself.
Weather became a factor at the outdoor event, with temperatures reaching freezing and participants even had to aim through falling snow for some of the competition.
“A bit, I guess,” said Marcotte, when asked if the cold affected her. “You know how when you’re in the cold you can hardly move your fingers, they get cold and stiff? That was how it was for me.
“I had to wear a lot of layers, so it was hard to move smoothly.”
Despite her success, Marcotte is still unsure about whether she will compete in the National Handgun Championships this July in Calgary because this year the air-gun and the .22 events are being held on the same day, leaving Marcotte wary about competing in both.
“The nationals are really messed up this year,” said Marcotte. “So I’d have a lot to shoot in one day and I’m not used to that. I won’t have time to go home and rest—I’d have to stay at the range all day and do another competition.
“And I want to focus on my air-pistol, so I don’t know about the .22.”
So far this year Marcotte took second in a national Junior Rangers shoot in Labrador at the end of May and gold at the Grand Prix Air-gun Championships in Toronto in February.
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