Canada Games: NWT shooters on target, male curlers lose again

The NWT's male curling team in action against Ontario on Tuesday
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On paper, the territory’s female air pistol team didn’t have a good outing Tuesday.

The team finished dead last in a field of 10 with a final score of 338. The winning team – Alberta – finished with a score of 716.

But the stats alone don’t tell the whole story as Team NWT was at a major disadvantage from the get-go.

While all other teams had two competitors in the event, “Team” NWT consisted of a single shooter – Mary Cairns.

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“Mary shot 338 out of 400 which is a very respectable score,” said Scott Cairns, coach of the territory’s air pistol shooters. “But unfortunately we only have one female pistol shooter down with us so we’re a little disadvantaged for the team event since we don’t have a second score to add to that.

“It’s unfortunate we didn’t have a full contingent to bring down here but the ones we have now are shooting really well for us.”

Read: Canada Games: Speed Skaters Reach Final, Set NWT Record

The territory’s lone male shooter at the Games, Liam Wilford (Yellowknife), was also at a disadvantage Tuesday.

Wilford shot a respectable 508 but because he shot solo, his performance simply didn’t stack up.

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Alberta won the event with a score of 1,052.

Despite what the standings say, Cairns says Tuesday’s team events will serve as good practice for his shooters as they get set for individual events Wednesday and Thursday.

“I think the team is coming together wonderfully. They’ve shot solid scores to this point so I think everything will come together in time for the individual events.

“There might be a little less pressure for them when they compete individually. When you’re on a team you’re worried about your team instead of just yourself which is uncommon for shooters.”

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Schedule and results: Team NWT at the Canada Winter Games

Live webcasts: Canada Games TV

Also on Tuesday, Hay River biathlete and NWT flagbearer Andrew Lirette finished 17th in the 10 km individual sprint. Kjel Crook and Clell Crook (also of Hay River) finished 41st and 42nd respectively.

The territory’s male curlers lost to Ontario 18-1.

Tuesday’s loss was the fourth straight defeat for Team NWT. They previously lost to Newfoundland, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

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