Yukon shooter chosen for Youth Olympic Games

Pelly Crossing's Danielle Marcotte has represented her Junior Rangers troupe at regional competitions, the Yukon in Canadian ones and even Canada at international events.

Pelly Crossing’s Danielle Marcotte has represented her Junior Rangers troupe at regional competitions, the Yukon in Canadian ones and even Canada at international events.

However, next month the 17-year-old will be shouldering an even larger load.

Last week, the recent graduate of Porter Creek Secondary found out she’ll be the only shooter representing Canada at next month’s Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

“Shock,” said Marcotte, when asked for her reaction to the news. “I don’t want to think too much about it right now, even though it’s hard not to. I want to focus on practising and getting ready, but I don’t want to psych myself out.

“There’s a lot of pressure.”

The women’s air pistol competitor has a pair of recent competitions to thank for her acceptance in the Games.

In December at the 2009 USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championships in Colorado Springs, a three-day event that served as a minimum qualifying score (MQS) for the Youth Olympics, Marcotte surpassed the MQS by 11 points with a 366 the first day, shot 378 the second – the second highest score from a female competitor – and 368 on the third. At the event she had the second highest scores of junior females and fourth out of the female field.

In March at the Youth Olympic Games Quota Competition in Guatemala City, competing against shooters from 14 other countries, Marcotte finished fourth overall among junior females, missing the bronze by just five points.

At that event the top two shooters received entry to the Youth Olympics, but since the Shooting Federation of Canada did have shooters who reached their MQS previously, the organization applied for a wildcard.

“Canada’s shooting federation was only allocated one wildcard, which went to Danielle because out of the eight (Canadian) shooters that went down to Guatemala, Danielle faired the best,” said Darcy Marcotte, Danielle’s father and coach.

To avoid overloading the young shooter, Marcotte decided to skip the National Pistol Championships in Granby, Quebec, and the ISSF World Cup Championships in Munich, Germany, both of which are taking place around the time of the Youth Olympics.

“We decided to take the chance that we’ll be allocated that wildcard,” said Darcy. “We didn’t want to over train her, burn her out. She’d be going straight from the World Cups to Singapore – there’s no rest period in between.

“When you start training for shooting, you take your time, build yourself up. You don’t want to peak too early.

“She’s on the national team next year automatically because she gets a bye by going to the Youth Olympics.”

Having taken some time off, Marcotte is back to training, shooting three times a week and hitting the gym a couple times a week on top of that.

“I don’t want to tire myself out, trying to work too hard and get exhausted before the Games,” said Marcotte. “I just want to go with it and work hard, but not too much where I’m going to bomb at the Games.”

As for other recent accomplishments, in May Marcotte competed at the Maple Leaf Open Air Gun Championships in Leduc, Alberta, winning gold in the women’s junior division and shooting the second highest score of all women at the championships, including the senior and expert divisions.

The first event of its kind, the inaugural Youth Olympic Gamtes will feature about 5,000 athletes between 14 and 18 competing in 26 sports. The junior women’s air pistol competition will take place on August 23.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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