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FIRING AWAY - Emmett Kapaniuk takes aim during practice at the Pan Am Championships last week in Halifax. Photo courtesy of Penny Hetletved

Young archer wins bronze medal at Pan Am Championships

Emmett Kapaniuk, 16, of Whitehorse won a bronze medal in the U18 Mixed Team event at the Halifax 2022 Youth & Masters Pan Am Championships recently. The Championships were held June 1-5.

By Morris Prokop on June 10, 2022

Emmett Kapaniuk, 16, of Whitehorse won a bronze medal in the U18 Mixed Team event at the Halifax 2022 Youth & Masters Pan Am Championships recently. The Championships were held June 1-5.

“I wasn’t expecting ... I wasn’t going in there trying to win a medal or anything. If it happened, it happened. So that was kind of the mindset I stuck to the whole time I was there. It was just kind of do the best I could with how windy the conditions were. So when all of a sudden I was in the position for a medal, I just tried to keep the same mindset down there for experience and stuff and it ended up paying off,” recalled Kapaniuk.

Kapaniuk said he was surprised to win bronze.

“I was excited ... we should have been in the gold medal match but one of my teammate’s arrows broke on her in mid-flight so she ended up shooting a miss but if that hit the target, even for a five points, we would have been in the gold medal match so that was a little bit of a bummer but all out of our control.”

Kapaniuk’s teammate was Bailey Mathers of Manitoba. They lost the match to the U.S. by a narrow margin of 144-137.

Since there were only three teams in the event, the young Canucks took the bronze.

“One of her fletchings ... one of hers ripped off in mid-flight, so it sunk the arrow low and ended up being a miss. You break ‘em when you’re shooting good groups and stuff. Another arrow could rip it off ... no one must have noticed it was torn, so when she shot, it just went flying, just kicked the arrow low, so not much to do about that.”

The fletching are the feathers on the arrow. A damaged one can result in a miss, like in this case.

Kapanuik explained how they ended up with bronze.

“There was a certain number of teams entered into it, so ours was, you shot for bronze ... you either lost and got bronze, or you won and went to gold and the silver, so we ended up losing that one because of that arrow, so that’s why we weren’t in the gold, but we still got bronze from it because we put up good scores in qualifying.”

“It was the top male and female that got to go. So I placed the highest for Canada in the qualifying, so I was selected to go for the mixed team event,” he added.

Kapaniuk was also in the U18 Men’s Compound event.

“I was in that and then the U18 Mixed team and also there wasn’t enough teams to do the normal team event, so they did an exhibition of Canada versus the U.S, so I also shot in that too.

“We didn’t win that one. There was no medals; it was more-so for our staff to experience when we go to other competitions.”

The U18 Men’s Compound Cadet event was a little bittersweet for Kapaniuk.

“I ended up getting beat out by my teammate in the quarter round. It wasn’t bad or anything. I’m happy I lost to my teammate and not someone else.”

Kapaniuk lost to Keegan Crawford of Covehead, P.E.I. 134-127.

“It was a great experience,” said Kapaniuk.

“I met so many archers I’ve looked up to in the older groups; I was able to meet quite a few of them, so that was pretty awesome to finally be able to meet and shoot with all those guys. It was just overall (a) good experience and although some things didn’t quite go my way, those are things we can work on for my next international event I’ll be trying out for.

“Definitely just focusing on the other stuff. It was really windy down there, gusting to like, 60 (kph), so it was just unbelievable to have to shoot in, so just practice in harsher conditions than I would actually like to, in case it’s like that and just definitely practice in heat, because it was pretty hot down there and I got really sun-burnt. So just little things like that that I’ll be able to get sorted out for P.E.I. and then the next international event.”

Next up for Kapaniuk is the Nationals in Charlottetown, P.E.I July 20-24.

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