Ear plugs were needed during the Target Shooting Super Final for Air Pistol, but not for the sound from the pistols; they were for the noise of the crowd.
Cheers, air horns, stomping feet and duck calls filled the John Paul II gymnasium Tuesday night. Gold medalist Jocelyn Arthur, 14, she had never seen or heard anything like it in four years of competition.
“This is really unusual for any type of final,” Arthur said. “It was really different from the others I’ve been in.”
Arthur competed alongside her sister Avril, who placed seventh in the event. She said they didn’t exactly get into to target shooting by choice.
“Our dad is really into shooting, so he got us into it," Avril said.
The Super Final is a two-warning elimination event where the last person standing wins the gold. During each round the athletes fire one shot, and the mark furthest from the bull’s-eye receives a warning. If a shooter gets two warnings, they are eliminated. This continues until just the champion remains.
Arthur and her finals opponent, Lauren Kohl of South East District, each had one warning going into the last shot. Arthur said she felt a lot of pressure and nerves during the final, but it would have been worse if she was up against her sister. The head-to-head sibling rivalry actually happened on the boys side, as Seth and Rex Norman found themselves with one warning each and one shot left while vying for top spot on the podium.
Older brother Seth, 14, took gold and bragging rights over his younger brother Rex,12, but said it was an intense moment.
“Whoever scored the higher shot was going to win,” Seth said. “It was really close.”
Seth said he is a rookie when it comes to the Super Final and has only been shooting for one year. Seth said he started shooting because of his experiences with video games.
“My buddies and I always played Call of Duty. That is how I got into it,” he said.
Medals will be presented for all the target shooting events at 1 p.m. Wednesday at John Paul II.
On Twitter @realgreghiggins
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