Mi'kmaw archer shooting for gold at the Indigenous Games
By Thursday, Ryan Francis of Eskasoni, N.S., scored highest in 3D archery competition
A desire to hunt is leading a Mi'kmaw archer from Eskasoni, N.S., to a possible gold medal at the North American Indigenous Games.
Ryan Francis, 19, seemed destined for gold in the under-19 3D archery category on Thursday, after scoring the highest in competition taking place at the Hamilton Hunting and Angling Association in Alberton, Ont.
But Ryan, who is a man of few words, said his skill with a compound bow was first honed by hunting — something he still does when he's not competing.
"I wanted to hunt with it, really," he said. "Then I just started shooting."
Sask. archers chasing medals
The 3D archery competition sees archers use two types of bows. Some use compound bows, which feature cables and pulleys to bend the limbs and have sights to help aim, while others use instinctive bows, which have no sights and must be bent manually.
Among those scoring high in archery are the members of Team Saskatchewan, led by coach and manager Melvin Taypotat.
"All of my athletes are chasing a medal," he said. "So I think they're doing very, very well."
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One Saskatchewan athlete, Twanie Kotyk, 19, was in the lead on Thursday in the under-19 women's category, using a compound bow to hit target after target with deadly accuracy.
"The team is bonding, like a family," he said.
Heavy rain and lightning on Thursday slowed and sometimes halted the competition, but the medals are expected to be handed out in the evening in a ceremony at McMaster University.