By Christine Ulmer, Team BC Communications
In an event where concentration and complete focus can make all the difference, Team BC air pistol target shooters Brian Ng of Langley and Dakota O’Donovan of Merritt aimed their way to the podium with a bronze medal finish in the Canada Winter Games team event on Tuesday.
The bronze medal marked the greatest accomplishment to date for both athletes; Ng and O’Donovan have only been competing in the sport for about a year-and-a-half. They met at a training event and haven’t spent too much time together but relied on their confident approach and trusted in each other’s abilities.
“I am so happy to have competed with a partner who can shoot like Dakota,” said Ng. “He did great.”
Ng is one of the younger competitors in the Canada Winter Games. At just 12 years of age, the Langley athlete was remarkably calm during the competition – which he credits as one of the keys to the team’s success in the event.
“I felt very relaxed, like I was unstoppable and nothing could bring me down,” said Ng. “I thought we might even get the gold but the bronze is great.”
The two-person team event requires each athlete to hit set targets with the air pistol. They are unable to watch each other’s results during the competition so while Ng knew he was shooting well, he had no idea how his partner was doing. Once both athletes finish their rounds, their scores are combined for a final ranking.
“We really had no idea how each other were doing,” explained O’Donovan. “I started out a little rough because I was so excited that I started to rush. That can be really hard to manage. For me, I need to disconnect from my emotions and have complete focus.”
The initial rankings had Ng and O’Donovan sitting in fourth place, just out of medal contention but after a miscalculation was corrected, the duo watched as they moved up into third.
“I was so excited when I found out we got third,” said O’Donovan. “I’ve never experienced something this big before and I have to say it was really because Brian did extremely well.
Ng and O’Donovan will continue their quest for medals on Thursday when they compete in the individual event.
“Thursday will be a free-for-all,” said Ng. “I’m feeling really good and am confident that I will shoot well, maybe even better than I did today.”