Matt Rawlings Fourth at Changwon World Cup

Matt Rawlings Fourth in Men’s Air Rifle at Changwon World Cup

CHANGWON, Korea – The first final of the 2009 ISSF World Cup Series was held in Changwon, Korea with U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) member Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) finishing barely out of medal contention in the fourth spot in Men’s 10m Air Rifle.

Rawlings entered his first ever ISSF World Cup final round in seventh place with a qualification score of 594. Rawlings and Gagan Narang of India were neck and neck in the final up until the last shot when Rawlings fired a 9.3 to Narang’s 10.2 to land himself in fourth place with a final score of 102.6 for a total score of 696.6, while Narang grabbed the bronze with a final score of 102.7 and a total of 696.7.

“I have been looking to get in a final for a while, so it was great to be here today. This is a starting point, we’ll see in the future,” said Rawlings following the final match.

“It was great that we had Rawlings in the final round,” commented U.S. National Rifle Coach Dave Johnson. “He is a young shooter, and this was one of his first World Cup experiences.”

Beijing’s Olympic silver medalist Zhu Quinan of China won the very first gold medal of the 2009 ISSF World Cup Series, by finishing in first place with a total score of 700.3 points.

The silver went to the second Chinese finalist, Cao Yifei, who climbed from sixth to second place in the final. He finished with a total of 698.6 points.

Rawlings’ USAMU teammate David Sprecher (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) finished in 17th place with a score of 590 and Matthew Wallace (Fairbanks, Alaska) ended the competition in 26th place with a 589.

The Women’s 10m Air Rifle final is the next final round on the schedule for the Changwon World Cup, which will take place on Saturday with U.S. shooters Jamie Beyerle, a 2008 Olympian, along with Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.) and Meghann Morrill (Verdi, Nev) vying for spots on the podium. The Men’s 50m Pistol final will also take place on Saturday with 2008 Olympian Brian Beaman looking for his first World Cup medal.