Fancy shoot­ing

Bris­tol’s Hope na­tive earns na­tional pis­tol cham­pi­onship

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

A na­tive of Bris­tol’s Hope was dead on dur­ing a na­tional marks­man com­pe­ti­tion last week, walk­ing with top hon­ours in sev­eral di­vi­sions.

Mark Hynes earned a Cana­dian ti­tle at the Na­tional Pis­tol Cham­pi­onships held in Granby, Que­bec Aug. 27-31.

A na­tive of Bris­tol’s Hope, Hynes re­sides in Oro­mocto, New Brunswick.

Hynes was among some 80 shoot­ers from across Canada, in­clud­ing women, men, ju­niors and dis­abled com­peti­tors.

He com­peted in sev­eral dif­fer­ent events, keep­ing his aim not only on the tar­gets, but also on po­si­tions for both the na­tional and Cana­dian Forces pis­tol teams.

The five-day com­pe­ti­tion was made up of seven dif­fer­ent events in­clud­ing 50-me­tre free pis­tol, 25me­tre sport pis­tol, 25-me­tre cen­tre fire, 25-me­tre stan­dard pis­tol, 25me­tre Olympic rapid fire, 10-me­tre air pis­tol and 25-me­tre mil­i­tary rapid fire.

Fac­ing high ex­pec­ta­tions and a very tight com­pe­ti­tion sched­ule, Hynes limited his par­tic­i­pa­tion to four events in or­der not to men­tally and phys­i­cally over­tire.

The best shoot­ers in the world only spe­cial­ize in one or two events.

On the first day of the com­pe­ti­tion, with a score of 528/600 points, Hynes found him­self in first place go­ing into the men’s 50-me­tre free pis­tol fi­nals, fend­ing off his com­pe­ti­tion to earn the na­tional cham­pi­onship.

Also on Day 1, Hynes shot a 565/600 in the 10-me­tre air pis­tol to earn a po­si­tion on the Na­tional Pis­tol Devel­op­ment Team.

The per­for­mance also saw him en­ter the men’s air pis­tol fi­nals in sec­ond place, where he fin­ished third over­all.

The last event on open­ing day was the 25-me­tre mil­i­tary rapid fire. This was one of two qual­i­fi­ca­tion matches for the CISM men’s and women’s pis­tol teams and was not open to civil­ian com­peti­tors due to sched­ul­ing re­stric­tions.

Hynes de­liv­ered 542/600 points to end up sixth, while com­pet­ing for one of three po­si­tions on the Cana­dian Forces team.

The next day, he bounced back and de­liv­ered a Cana­dian cham­pi­onship win­ning per­for­mance with a score of 576/600 in the 25-me­tre cen­tre fire match, de­spite suf­fer­ing a bro­ken ejec­tor, and hav­ing to switch to his back-up pis­tol half­way through the event.

With his com­bined mil­i­tary rapid fire and cen­tre fire scores, he clinched a po­si­tion on the men’s Cana­dian Forces team.

Hynes’ next ma­jor event will see him rep­re­sent­ing Canada as a mem­ber of the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Team at the con­ti­nen­tal cham­pi­onships (Cham­pi­onship of the Amer­i­cas) in Rio-de-Janeiro in Novem­ber.

While there he will at­tempt to earn a start­ing po­si­tion for the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Cham­pi­onship of the Amer­i­cas will be fol­lowed im­me­di­ately by the 45th World Mil­i­tary Shoot­ing Cham­pi­onships, also in Rio-de-Janeiro.

Hynes says some of the ma­jor chal­lenges he faces are the ab­sence of a na­tional team coach, as well as the lack of suit­able train­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the At­lantic re­gion.

Af­ter a decade away from the sport, Hynes re-en­tered last year to com­pete at the Na­tional Pis­tol Cham­pi­onships in Cal­gary. There, he turned in an im­pres­sive per­for­mance, win­ning the 10-me­tre air pis­tol cham­pi­onship, as well as plac­ing sec­ond over­all in both the 25-me­tre stan­dard pis­tol and cen­tre fire and third over­all in 50-me­tre free pis­tol. He earned po­si­tions on both the Cana­dian Forces Team and Na­tional Devel­op­ment Team.

The sport is gov­erned by the In­ter­na­tional Shoot­ing Sports Fed­er­a­tion (ISSF) and, na­tion­ally, by the Shoot­ing Fed­er­a­tion of Canada (SFC).

All these dis­ci­plines re­quire highly spe­cial­ized equip­ment, in­clud­ing com­pe­ti­tion pis­tols from .177 to .38 cal, match-grade am­mu­ni­tion, spe­cial shoes and shoot­ing glasses with irises, blin­ders and coloured lens fil­ters.

Na­tional cham­pion shooter, Mark Hynes sports the medals he earned at the Na­tional Pis­tol Cham­pi­onships in Granby, Que­bec.

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