Shooting for success

Emily Kim , Sports Editor

Inspired by a photo in a Korean newspaper, senior Justin Ahn took up pistol shooting four years ago and has since competed nationwide, even against Olympic shooters.

Ahn trains with the Bridge Junior Shooting Club in La Puente with head coach In Kim.

“Missing school and going to competitions is fun. During the process, I enjoy shooting and meeting new people,” Ahn said.

Ahn currently competes in the junior category for anyone under age 21. Anyone older competes in the Open category, but a high score, varying from event to event, can qualify a junior shooter to compete in Open.

The different events for men include the 10-meter air pistol, 25-meter rapid fire and 50-meter free pistol. Ahn uses  a Steyr LT-10E for the  air pistol competition and a Pardini gun for the 25 meter and 50 meter events. Although he competes in all three, Ahn prefers using the 10-meter air pistol.

In 2014, Ahn competed at the three-day long National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. He placed third in the air pistol category and scored above 565 points, the score required to compete in Open, on the last day of the Championships. Although he placed sixth in the Open category, Ahn is proud to have done well against more experienced shooters.

After his performance at Colorado Springs, Ahn was also invited to be a part of the National Junior Team.

“If you want to get up to a certain level, you have to put in the time,” Ahn said. “For me, I put in four hours everyday during the whole school year, so it is hard to manage time for school and homework and friends.”

One of his greatest accomplishments was placing first in the air pistol category at the 2015 Shooting Championships held at Fort Benning, Georgia. Ahn was chosen to represent America on the Spain World Championship Team but was unable to attend because the competition conflicted with his school schedule.

Currently, Ahn is preparing for the World Cup. He trains for the air pistol category at Bridge Junior Shooting Club and shoots at the Olympic Training Range in Chino Hills to practice outdoors for the 25 meter and 50 meter events. Although there was a World Cup held in January, Ahn did not attend due to school. He hopes to attend the one scheduled for June  in Spain.