By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published May 8, 2018

Two years ago when I competed at the World Action Pistol Championship in New Zealand, I figured it might be my final time participating on the world stage.

Turns out, I am getting another opportunity.

I am one of 4 women selected to represent the U.S. during the women’s competition of the 13th annual World Action Pistol Championship, which will be May 19-20 in Hallsville, Missouri. I first competed at a world championship in 1999 in New Zealand. This will be my 9th time participating in the event.

This year’s invitation was sweet for me. I am 71 years old. I never dreamed I would be doing anything close to this at my age. It is purely an honor. It also will be special to represent the U.S. on our home soil. 

The WAPC was last in the U.S. in 2014. I was a year removed from breaking my leg and skipped that event so I would be fresh for the Bianchi Cup.

This year’s Bianchi Cup will be held May 23 to 25, which means I will have 2 days between the events. Both will be hosted by the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club.

I see the logic of grouping the events closely together. It cuts down on the cost, travel and hassle for overseas competitors.

However, the quick turnaround between the 2 events will present a unique challenge and will test shooters’ focus. Anyone competing in both events is in danger of going stale.

Sport shooters know about this concept. There’s only so much we can focus, so many shots we can fire before we risk going stale. When this kicks in, a shooter’s focus is fried and the shooter cannot perform to their usual ability. You might have shot brilliantly a few days earlier, but once you go stale, you cannot perform to that level. 

I know how I get after shooting in the Bianchi Cup. The event takes a heavy toll on me, both mentally and physically. I have never experienced another match so draining. I basically go stupid for 2 weeks after the competition. After a couple weeks of rest, I feel like myself again. 

Knowing this is how I get after one major event, how are my body and mind going to hold up throughout back-to-back championships?

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