Fort Benning, GA -(Ammoland.com)- Though James Henderson and Sarah Beard didn't win any medals at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Rifle/Pistol World Cup today, they did win something perhaps even more valuable – Olympic quotas.
A quota spot is essentially the entry ticket necessary for a country to compete in Olympic competition in a particular discipline. Henderson and Beard both qualified for their first World Cup Finals today in Men’s Free Pistol and Women’s Air Rifle respectively, and by virtue of their fourth and fifth place finishes, each earned a quota.
“Would have been nice to get a medal, but I got the job done!” Henderson said. “I was happy I finally had a good performance, I’ve kind of been in a slump lately.”
Henderson (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Midland, Georgia) qualified for the Final with a Qualification score of 565. Though competing in his first World Cup Final in a field full of Olympic medalists and World Champions, Henderson was confident competing in the new Finals Hall on his home range. Throughout the Final he would move within the top positions, however, a costly 6.8 on his 15th shot eliminated him in the fourth-place position.
“Everything was going well until then and I just had a momentary lapse with everything being in one bag,” he said. “That’s kind of what happens in Free Pistol. If you just let it slip for a second, it will bite you. You've got to stay calm and focused with it and I didn't for one shot and it cost me.”
Damir Mikec of Serbia won the gold medal and a quota for his country as well. The silver medal went to two-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning World Champion Jongoh Jin of South Korea and the bronze medal went to Xuan Vinh Hoang of Vietnam. Jin and Hoang had already secured quotas and are thus ineligible to win additional ones.
Following the Women’s Air Rifle Final, when Henderson went to congratulate Beard (pictured) on her quota win, she smiled at him and jokingly replied, “Couldn't let you be the only one!”
Beard (Danville, Indiana) qualified for the Final with a score of 416.1. Though it was her first World Cup Final, Beard had shot some practice Finals in the new Finals Hall and felt more comfortable entering the match.
“I'm really glad I earned the quota,” she said. “That got a huge weight off my shoulders! When I heard the girl from Mongolia got out and they announced she earned a quota, I knew I won one too, which was exciting, but I still wanted a medal, which didn't happen, but next time.”
Andrea Arsovic of Serbia won the gold medal, Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia won the silver medal and Stine Nielsen of Denmark won the bronze medal.
USA Shooting athletes winning Olympic quotas will still have to earn the right to compete in the Olympic Games separately. Prior tos today in the Rifle and Pistol events, the U.S. has only earned one quota each in Men’s Air Rifle, Men’s Air Pistol and Men’s Prone Rifle, with the potential to earn up to an additional 15 for the U.S. prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More information on selection procedures and quotas for 2015 World Cups and the 2016 Olympic Games can be found here.
Men’s Prone Rifle and Rapid Fire Pistol action kick off tomorrow with medals to be awarded in Men’s Prone.
- For complete scores from the ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, please visit the ISSF website at http://www.issf-sports.org.
- View the full World Cup schedule here: http://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/venue/schedule.
ELEY is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world’s most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000.
For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit www.eley.co.uk.
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.