Friday, June 20, 2014

Amazing shooters at ISSF Munich and Maribor World Cups

I'm all finished shooting for the Munich and Maribor stages of the 2014 ISSF World Cup Series. I'll be going to Beijing in about 9 days to shoot at the final stage of the series. I would have liked to have finished higher in both locations but there are some clear areas I need to focus on in my training to improve. My timing is still off and I'm taking too long between shots. This longer time leads to over-thinking which, in a sport that is very mental focused, you just can't do.

It's amazing to watch the top 8 finalists across various disciplines shoot in the ISSF World Cup finals. This is where the top 8 people out of the 100 or so trying to qualify start at 0 points and shoot until a champion is determined. I definitely pick up a lot just watching the top people compete in their disciplines.

Women's 50m 3 positions Final

I was able to do a bit of sightseeing in Germany, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia and have posted photos on various websites:


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Friday, June 13, 2014

Made it to Maribor

Our team made it to Maribor this afternoon and it was a bit stressful and chaotic trying to find our place to stay. We were never able to find it.. at all. Even using exact long lat GPS coordinates we ended up a completely different hotel. We're still not sure if where we were originally booked to stay even exists.

After driving for hours near the vacant ski resorts around Maribor we gave up and went into Maribor to find a new hotel to stay at. Finally, after a long day driving in from Venice, Italy we got ourselves somewhat sorted out -- our hotel locks from the inside AND outside and all the hallway lights turn off after about 5 minutes. Classic.

We made it out to the range earlier for our first stop before Maribor and we found what looks like a range under construction. 10m range is on the 3rd floor and there is no elevator yet -- I feel bad for the rifle shooters who have to carry all their gear up all those stairs. Lots of fresh new paint and carpet smell. The entire place looks like it will be absolutely amazing when it is complete but from what we saw today we were a bit concerned that the range would be ready for people to shoot tomorrow.

Indoor 10m range 'looked' the most complete. This will be a really nice
range when the elevator and balcony are all finished

Outdoor 50m range was missing a few items earlier today

I'm hoping to do better than my shoot in Munich earlier this week. I was unable to get settled in properly and didn't shoot at where I was hoping to be at. Going into the match I had everything lined up the way I had planned going into it -- somewhere before the start of the match though something wasn't right. I've got a list of things I'll be working on and adjusting for my shoot this coming week here in Maribor.

More to come!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Arrived in Munich for 2014 ISSF World Cup!

I flew out of Vancouver on June 3rd and flew to Toronto to catch up with teammates Connor Deneka and Ben Taylor who I would be travelling with the next 3 weeks. It was great to see them at our next gate and unfortunately our teammate Audrey-Anne Dery got delayed flying out of Quebec City and couldn't make our Toronto-to-Munich flight so we caught up with her the morning of June 5th.

Once arriving in Munich we got our luggage and gun cases and headed through customs and then caught up with our ISSF host who directed us to our shuttle bus. One of the best parts of attending these ISSF World Cup events is seeing all the various teams from countries from all over the place who have flown in to compete here. There are close to 1300 athletes from 96 nations competing here!

First stop after arriving in Munich is to the range to drop off our rifles and pistols at the armoury for storage during our time in Munich. It was at this point that we hit the second hiccup on our trip... after leaving our backpacks in the shuttle bus, thinking we would be quick to go in and pick up our accreditation and drop off our guns, the bus left without us to the host hotels. Noooo! Thanks to the helpful staff at the ISSF they were able to track down our things and bring them to our hotel the next day.

Competitor #1238!

After catching up with Audrey-Anne we headed to Marienplatz, the city's main central square since 1158! It's amazing to see the old and new buildings around this part of the city. The Glockenspiel at Marianplatz is cool to see.. I'm always amazed by things with lots of moving parts and I imagine the maintenance must be constant.

After taking in some sights it was back to business and one of the first things on my schedule was going through the open training time. During open training each country has reserved lanes for them to practice, and me being the only one from Canada representing 10m, I had the lane to myself. 20 shots in and I was very happy with my results. Awesome.

Next was getting the best H&N Finale Match pellets to use. This involves putting the airgun in a vice and shooting at targets with various tins of pellets from their manufacturing line. It turned out that Lot #40181 gave the best results so I picked up 20 tins (10,000 pellets) which will be enough to cover me for the rest of the competitions I'll be at this year. Back in Vancouver when I'm training, I'm less concerned about the best batch to use and just focus on training so I use the same brand but they're not tested. When shooting for a competition score at the international level, I want the best grouping I can get though so I keep these tested ones reserved for competitions.

Results from my H&N pellet testing plus some extras that H&N included.
Thanks H&N Sport!

I go through pre-event training on Tuesday and then shoot for score on Wednesday. You can see realtime scoring of all events on the ISSF Munich World Cup site and follow me on twitter at @alharding for more updates!