Sophomore and Blue and Gold member Gabriel Matnog displaying his medals from the State Junior Olympics. Photo submitted by Matnog.

Gabriel Matnog is a sophomore in Malden High and a Blue and Gold reporter. Matnog recently participated in the State Junior Olympics where he won the gold and bronze medal for Sport Pistol and Air Pistol respectively.

Matnog explained that ¨there are events under the Olympics community like track but there are also shooting events which are not as popular but are still recognized by the Olympics.” There is pistol events and rifle events, but Matnog participates in the pistol events.

Under the Olympics, there are the junior Olympics which are for individuals of those up to the age of 21. Then there are the qualifiers which are the state Olympics.

Matnog took part in the 10-meter air pistol and the 25-meter sports pistol event. Matnog said that those events are "10-meter air pistol in which [they] have a target that is like a regular paper target but it’s just a few centimeters wider.¨

Matnog has been doing this sport for about seven to eight years and started when he was about eight years old.

He explained the reason why he started was that "his family, especially his dad, thought that the use of guns was for protection but there was also a sport for it. At his home range, they have a program which kids from seven to 21 can join the team which is like a state team and [his] dad influenced [him] heavily. "

He prepped for the Junior Olympics was by "years of training and late night practices, and hard work and coaches that pushed [him] really hard. [His]training schedule would be every single day or six days It’s tiring but it’s what got [him] there."

Matnog competed in the 2018 junior Olympics which he qualified for last year state qualifiers, "it was different than anything that [he has] ever experienced."

Matnog described his emotions after winning medals as "amazing because after all those years working really hard, “it was a good milestone that [he] was able to reach."

Matnog participated in last year’s state qualifiers, where he placed 2nd in both events and he came in the 2018 Junior Olympics 4th in the country for sports pistol and 2nd for air pistol.

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