Archers aiming high

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

Meat cutting can be a risky business.

It's even riskier when you are working with sharp knives while trying to preserve your hands for the intricacies of shooting an arrow with a bow in top-level competitions.

"Everyone says you've got to watch out for your fingers," said Jay Lyon, a competitive archer who is employed as a butcher at a local food fare. "It is a risk I've thought about but I haven't had any problems."

IMPRESSIVE

Both Lyon and fellow Manitoban Kevin Tataryn earned the right to compete at the world archery championships in Leipzig, Germany, next month with impressive showings at the Canadian National Team Trials in Montreal last weekend. Lyon was second in the recurve bow competition while Tataryn finished first in the compound. Tataryn also tied the Canadian record for the 12-arrow match round by scoring a 119 out of 120 -- in the rain.

"It was a good weekend," said Tataryn, who turns 22 this weekend. "It was rainy and windy but I still think I shot fairly well. You just have to aim a little higher in the rain."

And he is aiming toward an impressive performance at the worlds.

"My goal at the world championships is to place in the top five," said Tataryn, who works as a construction inspector.

Lyon, 21, was kicking himself for not dressing for the inclement weather in Montreal. "It was a nice long day of rain there," he said. "It was a challenge. I got soaking wet but I felt I handled the conditions very well."

Lyon scored a 73, 15 points behind the winner.

"I've been working a lot with a sports psychologist through the Canadian Sport Centre," he said. "He's been helping to develop my tools to improve my mental focus and mental preparation ... It's been incredible. I've learned so much from him."

Tataryn, who scored an impressive 1,377 points, kept his own emotions in check in Montreal.

"I was just keeping calm, knowing that I could shoot well," he said.

This will be Tataryn's fourth appearance at a world championship. His first was the junior worlds in the Czech Republic, followed by the men's championships in New York in 2003 and Madrid, where he finished fifth in 2005 (the world championships are held every two years).

"Kevin wants to break that magic 1,400 mark," said Bob Tataryn, his dad who built an archery range on his Argyle farm where a number of sanctioned events are held.

The worlds, however, are the highest Tataryn can go because there are no Olympics for the compound archer. The recurve, on the other hand, is an Olympic sport.

"That's (Olympics) been my goal for a long time now," Lyon said. "And Team Canada is allowing me and (two other archers) to go to the Olympic test event in Beijing. That will help us get used to the kind of conditions we can expect there (2008 Olympics)."

But first, the three recurve archers are determined to score well in Germany.

"If we perform well at the worlds, we could get all three spots (available) at the Olympics for Canada," said Lyon, whose brother, Blair, shoots the compound bow.

Lyon was also getting both tetanus and hepatitis shots as he will also be compete at the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Hey, pick up a bow and see the world.

And take aim at even brighter futures.


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