Rifle athlete Sarah Scherer returned from the ISSF World Cup Final in Poland with a sixth place finish, shooting a 497 in women’s 10M air rifle. Chinese shooter Siling Yi won the event, finishing with a 502.7.
Scherer said while she thought she had a good performance, she encountered issues with her shooting position that were reflected in her score. An element of Scherer’s position broke guidelines by mere centimeters. However, because she had been training in this position for so long, this small change affected her muscle memory and altered her overall performance, she said.
“I had to make a slight change, and that was kind of a hard pill to swallow,” she said. “You train so much and so hard, and at the end of it all you have to change something.”
Although she was disappointed, Scherer said she did not focus solely on her scores.
“You can’t get overwhelmed with the scores. The scores don’t come because they’re scores,” she said. “The scores come because you perform well. You think, if I’m at this point, and I know what I can correct, then next time I’ll move up.”
Regardless of obstacles in her performance, Scherer said overall the experience was beneficial because she was able to learn from the elite competitors surrounding her. She said the experience of competing in this small, elite arena of shooters would allow her to feel more at ease when she moved back into NCAA shooting as well as in larger competitions.
One shooter in particular made a big impression on Scherer, she said. Leonid Ekimov, a 24-year-old from Russia, qualified for the ISSF World Cup Final in three different events: 25M rapid fire pistol, 50M pistol and 10M air pistol. Ekimov won first place in air pistol and second place in pistol. Scherer said she was impressed and encouraged by his performance.
“It was encouraging,” she said. “People can really go far in this sport — even if they’re young — and outshoot anybody.”