Ft. Benning, Ga – Nineteen of the world's best Olympic-style shooting competitors will be among the 300 athletes from 40 nations that arrive into the Peach State later this week.
The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), located in Ft. Benning, Ga., and USA Shooting are prepping to host an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup for Rifle and Pistol, May 5-12.
Thirty-two American athletes, including 12 Olympians, will take to the firing lines during the World Cup but just two, 1996 Olympic silver medalist Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) , are among the 19 medal-heavy participants taking part in this year's USA World Cup. Milev actually won his medal as part of the Bulgarian Olympic Team, having competed in three Olympic Games for his native country before moving to the United States in 2004. Turner earned his medal in the air pistol event in Beijing, but will try his hand at 50m Free Pistol on the events last day, Sunday, May 12.
“I'm excited to be able to compete in Ft. Benning again,” said Milev, a four-time Olympian and 1996 Olympic silver medalist in Rapid Fire Pistol. “This is going to be my first international start after the Olympic Games and the anticipation is building up. I changed a lot of things in my training routine and I'm looking forward to this competition for affirmation of all the work I've done in the last six months.”
Among the featured athletes participating will be Milev's former Bulgarian teammate in five-time Olympic medalist Maria Grozdeva, who owns two gold and three bronze Olympic medals while competing in both Air & 25m Pistol events. The Women's Pistol events are stacked with talent with six total competitors having won Olympic hardware. Another name to watch out for will be the Ukraine's Olena Kostevych, who owns three Olympic medals as well.
In the rifle category, the venerable Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia stands alone with his three Olympic medals in the Prone and Three-Position events. The Men's Rifle and Pistol events each have five competitors that have stood on the Olympic podium previously. In Women's Rifle, Serbian Ivana Maksimovic, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist behind America's Jamie Gray (Lebanon, Pa.) in Three-Position Rifle, is the lone medalist competing.
Please see below for the complete list of top International Competitors participating.
Milev and Turner are among the 12 Olympians entered to compete for the U.S. contingent including three USAMU soldiers Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wis.), Jason Parker (Omaha, Neb.) and Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.). Georgia native Jonathan Hall (Carrollton, Ga.) is another rifle competitor that will compete after experiencing his first Olympic Games in London.
Along with Milev and Turner, the USA Shooting Pistol Team also includes Olympians Daryl Szarenski ('00, '04 '08, '12/Seale, Ala.), Keith Sanderson ('08, '12/Colorado Springs, Colo.), Sandra Uptagrafft (2012/Phenix City, Ala.), '08 teammates Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) and Brenda Silva (Riverside, Calif.), and four-time Olympian Elizabeth “Libby” Callahan ('96, '00, '04, '08/Columbia, S.C.).
But there are significant absentees particularly on the rifle side including Olympic medal-winners Gray and Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.) as both are taking time to recover after the Olympic year and nursing back ailments that have plagued them in recent years. Other missing Olympic teammates includes two formidable female rifle shooters in Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) and Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Wash.) who will be graduating from Texas Christian University and Ohio State University in the coming weeks. Also, pistol shooter Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.) will be unable to attend as he is finishing up his Basic Training after enlisting in the Army.
For the complete release on the USA Shooting Team participating in the 2013 World Cup USA, click here.
All competitors are still adjusting to the new ISSF rules in place that have brought about the most extensive set of modifications in the sports history while implementing a completely new Finals format. After the qualification rounds, which are conducted under the old rules, the top-eight shooters advance to a semifinal-a new competition stage. The qualification score is not carried forward as all the semifinalists start from zero. The new rules push even greater drama on the final stages. The ISSF feels that the changes make medal decisions easier to understand, thus enhancing the viewing excitement for both spectators and TV audience.
China finished atop the medal standings in the year's only previous rifle/pistol World Cup in Changwon, Korea. Chinese shooters won eight medals, including four gold and four silver. Germany followed in second place with three gold and one silver.
The United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) was established on March 1, 1956 at the direction of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to raise the standards of marksmanship throughout the U.S. Army. The USAMU is a battalion of the U.S. Army Accessions Support Brigade, a subordinate unit of the Army Marketing and Research Group.
This unit has proudly represented the U.S. during every Summer Olympic Games that the United States has participated in since 1960, earning 24 Olympic medals. In 2012, the unit sent seven of its Soldiers to London to compete on the world's grandest stage, including the first combat-injured active-duty Soldier to ever compete in a Paralympic Games. The extraordinary combined efforts of the assigned Soldiers and Civilians of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit are why we have come to be known as “The Home of Champions.”
2013 World Cup USA Schedule
- Sunday, May 5 – Pre-event Training
- Monday, May 6 – Men's 10m Air Rifle & Women's 10m Air Pistol
- Tuesday, May 7 – Men's 10m Air Pistol
- Wednesday, May 8 – Women's 10m Air Rifle
- Thursday, May 9 – Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (Stage 1) & Men's 50m Three-Position Rifle
- Friday, May 10 – Women's 50m Three-Position Rifle & Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (Stage 2 + Finals)
- Saturday, May 11 – Women's 25m Pistol & Men's Prone Rifle (Eliminations)
- Sunday, May 12 – Men's Prone Rifle (Qualifying & Finals) & Men's 50m Free Pistol
Top International Competitors (17 Olympic Medalists)
Men's Pistol (Five Olympic Medalists)
- Zhiwei Wang (China) – Ranked No. 3 in Free Pistol
- Tian Zhang (China) – Ranked No. 7 in Free Pistol
- Leuris Pupo (Cuba) – 2012 Olympic Gold medalist in Rapid Fire Pistol; Ranked No. 1
- Christian Reitz (Germany) – Ranked No. 4 in Rapid Fire Pistol
- Vijay Kumar (India) – 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in Rapid Fire Pistol; Ranked No. 2
- Tomoyuki Matsuda (Japan) – Ranked No. 5 in 50m Free Pistol
- Young Choi (Korea) – Ranked No. 2 in 50m Free Pistol
- Leonid Ekimov (Russia) – Ranked No. 5 in Air Pistol; Ranked No. 9 in 50m Free Pistol
- Vladimir Isakov (Russia) – 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist in 50m Free Pistol
- Alexei Klimov (Russia) – Ranked No. 5 in Rapid Fire Pistol
- Damir Mikec (Serbia) – Ranked No. 10 in 50m Free Pistol
- Andrija Zlatic (Serbia) – '12 Olympic Bronze Medalist in Air Pistol; Ranked No. 3 Air & No. 5 Free
- Oleh Omelchuk (Ukraine) – Ranked No. 8 in Air Pistol
- Oleksandr Petriv (Ukraine) – 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in Rapid Fire Pistol
Women's Pistol (Six Olympic Medalists including all 3 2012 medalists in 25m and Air)
- Maria Grozdeva (Bulgaria) – 5-time Olympic medalist (2 gold, 3 bronze) in both Air & 25m Pistol
- Ying Chen (China) – Two-time Olympic medalist ('08 gold; '12 silver) in 25m Pistol
- Yuling Su (China) – Ranked No. 9 in Air Pistol
- Sandrine Goberville (France) – '12 Olympic Silver Medalist in Air Pistol; Ranked No. 2 in Air Pistol
- Munkhbayar Dorjsuren (Germany) – '08 Olympic Bronze Medalist in 25m Pistol; Ranked No. 4
- Jangmi Kim (Korea) – 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in 25m Pistol
- Kira Mozgalova (Russia) – Ranked No. 6 in 25m Pistol
- Zorana Arunovic (Serbia) – Ranked No. 4 in Air Pistol; Ranked No. 5 in 25m Pistol
- Olena Kostevych (Ukraine) – Three-time Olympic medalist (1 gold, 2 bronze); 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist in both Air and 25m Pistol events.
Men's Rifle (Five Olympic Medalists)
- Lionel Cox (Belgium) – Ranked No. 2 in Prone Rifle; 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist
- Tao Wang (China) – Ranked No. 4 in Air Rifle
- Bojan Durkovic (Croatia) – Ranked No. 8 in Prone Rifle
- Cyril Graff (France) – Ranked No. 6 in Three-Position Rifle
- Edmond Pierre Piasecki (France) – Ranked No. 8 in Air Rifle
- Valerian Sauveplane (France) – Ranked No. 10 in Prone Rifle
- Daniel Brodmeier (Germany) – Ranked No. 6 in Prone Rifle
- Henri Junghanel (German) – Swept both Air and Smallbore events at 2013 Changwon World Cup; 2013 NCAA Rifle Championships Silver Medalist competing for the University of Kentucky
- Peter Sidi (Hungary) – Ranked No. 9 in Three-Position Rifle
- Gagan Narang (India) – 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist in Air Rifle, Ranked No. 3
- Sergey Richter (Israel) – Ranked No. 7 in Air Rifle
- Jinseop Han (Korea) – Ranked No. 5 in Prone and Three-Position Rifle
- Alin George Moldoveanu (Romania) – 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist in Air Rifle; Ranked No. 1
- Serguei Kruglov (Russia) – Ranked No. 10 in Air Rifle
- Rajmond Debevec (Slovenia) – Three-Time Olympic medalist (2 bronze; 1 gold) in Rifle; 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist in Prone ; 2008 Bronze medalist & 2000 Gold medalist in 3P
- Artur Ayvazyan (Ukraine) – 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in Prone Rifle
Women's Rifle (One Olympic Medalist)
- Snjezana Pejcic (Croatia) – Ranked No. 7 in Three-Position Rifle
- Petra Zubasling (Italy) – 2012 Olympian; Three-time NCAA Rifle Champ in Air (2) and Smallbore (1) competing for West Virginia University
- Daria Vdovina (Russia) – Ranked No. 8 in Three-Position Rifle
- Andrea Arsovic (Serbia) – Ranked No. 9 in Air Rifle
- Ivana Maksimovic (Serbia) – 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in Three-Position Rifle
About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at www.usashooting.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/USAShooting.