A Shot At Victory: Shooting Nationals 2016

by Nicole Tan (16A13A)

To step into the shooting range during a shooting match is to walk into an almost complete silence, something vastly different from the usual enthusiastic fanfare coming from the spectator stands of other sports competitions. Instead, the air is thick with quiet tension– cheering is banned (even whispering is frowned upon) and banners are redundant– the silence is only punctured by sporadic gun shots. This is because the sport requires intense focus from its shooters; in fact many of us wear earplugs and blinders to minimize any remaining distractions, since shooting is about absolute precision, even the slightest shift in focus can costs us those few important points.

From the spectator’s point of view, the only tangible result seems to be the score flashed on the electronic targets in front of the shooters and on the general scoreboard that updates with every shot, whilst the shooters themselves hardly move at all, beyond putting in another pellet then raising the gun to fire. But what a few would know is that the unseeable half of the fight happens inside the shooter’s head. Aside from the physical demands of the sport: carrying a 4.5kg gun for over an hour– and more during training– is certainly no easy task, and has caused back problems for many of our shooters over the years. The shooters have trained too in terms of mental strength: every shot requires pure, undivided concentration to reach its perfection.

Rifle captain Wang Kaiying (16S03E) in action.

Rifle captain Wang Kaiying (16S03E) in action.

Rifle captain Wang Kaiying (16S03E) in action

COMPETITION STRUCTURE
GIRLS

10M Air Rifle and Air Pistol

Preparation time:

15min, unlimited shots

Competition time:

50min, 40 shots

BOYS

10M Air Rifle and Air Pistol

Preparation time:

15min, unlimited shots

Competition time:

1h 15min, 60 shots

Pressure was even higher during the Individual Finals, shot by the top 24 finalists from the team round. Competitors were required to shoot a single shot on command, within the time span of 50 seconds– after every two of which the three lowest scoring finalists would be eliminated, until the champion was determined.

This year, our shooters did the school proud by securing several trophies:

  • ‘A’ Div Air Rifle Women – Team 1st
  • ‘A’ Div Air Pistol Women – Team 3rd
  • ‘A’ Div Air Rifle Men – Team 2nd
  • ‘A’ Div Air Pistol Men – Team 1st

In addition, Evelyn Chng (16S03O) also achieved individual 3rd in women’s rifle category, Cleve Huang (17S03K) placed 2nd in the men’s pistol category, while Phaedra Tan (17S06M) and Sean Tay (16S03S) each won individual 1st in the women’s pistol and men’s rifle category respectively.

The shooters surely came away from this year’s season triumphant, grateful and reflective as a team and as individuals. In the words of pistol captain Joyce Lee (16A01C), “We came into the season with high expectations–some were met and some weren’t, but we finished with no regrets because the whole team really gave it our all through the whole process of training and competing. Especially those who didn’t make the team, the support and encouragement they provided throughout this entire period really spurred us on to train harder and to make them proud.”

Picture2

The shooters celebrating their win, with coach Mr Li Jie, and teachers in-charge Mr Lai and Mr Leroy Choo.

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