Lynda Kiejko’s Gold Wins Spot for Canada to Shoot in Olympics
TheGunBlog.ca — Lynda Kiejko won gold in women’s 10-metre air pistol today at the Championship of the Americas, qualifying the first Team Canada shooter for the 2020 Olympics.
Kiejko’s victory in Guadalajara, Mexico, also got a new quota spot for Canada to shoot in the 2019 Pan American Games. Allan Harding won the first Pan Am shooting slot yesterday. The quota spots go to the country, not to the competitor.
“Can’t even begin to express my excitement and gratitude!” Kiejko said on Twitter after Harding announced her result. “Team effort here in in Mexico for the win!”
Can't even begin to express my excitement and gratitude! Team effort here in in Mexico for the win! https://t.co/yiOHlEjL0o
— Lynda Kiejko (@Cdnshootingstar) November 4, 2018
“Incredibly proud of my Team 🇨🇦 teammate Lynda Kiejko,” Harding tweeted as part of his live updates and photos after today’s match.
Kiejko’s Second Olympics?
It would be Kiejko’s second straight Olympics if the Shooting Federation of Canada chooses the 38-year-old from Calgary to compete in the 2020 games in Tokyo. She shot 10-metre air pistol and 25-metre .22 LR pistol at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Cynthia Meyer, a trap competitor who has participated in four Olympics, was the only other Team Canada shooter in the Rio games.
“A huge congratulations to Lynda who is coming home with a gold medal, a Pan Am quota, AND an Olympic quota spot for Canada!” the shooting federation said on its website. “Way to go Lynda!”
Incredibly proud of my Team 🇨🇦 teammate Lynda Kiejko @Cdnshootingstar. Incredible finish in the Finals today to win the 2018 Championship of the Americas and win quota spots for Canada for the 2019 Pan Am Games and 2020 Olympics! ❤️🇨🇦 @TeamCanada #teamcanada #issf pic.twitter.com/H3qnZMqwuO
— Allan Harding (@alharding) November 4, 2018
Shooting is one of Canada’s safest and most-popular sports.
More men and women have a federal firearm licence than play golf or hockey, and millions of unlicensed family and friends of all ages practice hunting or enjoy shooting for fun and competition under supervision.
The biggest obstacle for Kiejko, Harding and other Canadian shooters may be their own prime minister.
Justin Trudeau is considering ending their athletic careers by banning their handguns and other firearms held by responsible owners across the country.
He’s also pushing Bill C-71 to confiscate more rifles and put sport shooters in prison unless they get special police permission to transport their target pistols.
It’s already a crime to buy, sell, possess or move any firearm without approval from the federal police. Gun owners can also go to jail if they forget to tell police within 30 days of changing address.
“We won quota spots for Canada 🇨🇦 to attend the 2020 Olympics and 2019 Pan Am Games in pistol shooting!” Harding tweeted with a selfie of him and Kiejko. “please retweet so @JustinTrudeau sees!”
Dear PM @JustinTrudeau —
Please let Canada’s top athletes compete in the Olympics.
— TheGunBlog (@TheGunBlog) November 5, 2018
Kiejko is in Mexico with her coach, Lisa Borgerson (standing behind Kiejko in the flag photo), and about 40 other Team Canada pistol, rifle and shotgun shooters, and coaches and support staff.
Two Ontario rifle shooters, Shannon Westlake and Chris Baldwin, won the second and third quota spots for the Pan Am games next July and August, the Shooting Federation of Canada said.
“We have a shot at more pistol quotas in the 25-metre women’s event later this week,” Harding told TheGunBlog.ca.
The Pan Ams are traditionally Canada’s best event for picking up Olympic quota spots, Harding said yesterday after the pistol champ from British Columbia won Canada’s first Pan Am spot.
Canadian women won the 10-metre air-pistol event in the last three Pan Am Games: Avianna Chao in 2007, Kiejko’s older sister Dorothy Ludwig in 2011, and Kiejko in 2015. Each went on to shoot for Team Canada in the following Olympics.
Kiejko won gold in 10-metre air pistol and 25-metre .22 LR pistol at the Pan Ams in 2015 near Toronto. She’s also a co-vice-chair of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee.
“Hearing the National anthem #TeamCanada #priceless moment,” she tweeted in response to Harding after today’s medal ceremony.
— Allan Harding (@alharding) November 4, 2018
Correction 05 Nov. at 09:20 Toronto time: Corrects distance for pistol events won by Kiejko in second-last paragraph.
Update 05 Nov. at 09:15 Toronto time: Adds Shooting Federation of Canada quote on Kiejko, adds Shannon Westlake and Chris Baldwin Pan Am spots.
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