Colorado Springs, CO -(Ammoland.com)- As the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup season begins to heat up with increasing competition for Olympic quota places and Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS), the Rifle and Pistol athletes of the USA Shooting Team look to bring home gold as they travel to Munich, Germany, May 26-June 6.
Through four of seven Olympic quota qualifying competitions to date, the USA Shooting Team has earned seven of the 20 quotas (2 per 10 events) available in Rifle/Pistol including Prone Rifle (2); Men’s Air Rifle (1); Women’s Air Rifle (1); Women’s Three-Position Rifle (1); Men’s Air Pistol (1); Men’s Free Pistol (1).
The USA Shooting team, 34 strong, will compete with a record 877 athletes from 81 nations; including many World Cup medalists and Olympic champions. Among them the USA’s Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey), who comes as an unstoppable force, already claiming three World Cup medals in Prone and Three-Position events from the ISSF World Cups in both Changwon, South Korea and Fort Benning, Georgia, earlier this season.
Joining Emmons is the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (USAMU) Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin), who recently won gold in Prone on his home turf at the World Cup in Fort Benning. His gold medal also secured the second Olympic quota in that event, with Emmons laying claim to the other earlier this year in Changwon. USAMU teammate and two-time Olympian Eric Uptagrafft (USAMU/Phenix City, Alabama) also enters Men’s Prone. After a fifth-place finish in Changwon, look for a strong performance in Munich as well.
The Three-Position events are also studded with experienced World Cup competitors, including George Norton (USAMU/Salina, Kansas), who is looking for the first quota slot for the Men’s event. Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) joins Norton in the event, although, like Emmons, will not be eligible for the Men’s Three-Position quota since he earned an Air Rifle quota in Guadalajara, Mexico at the Championship of the Americas (CAT Games) in October 2014.
Norton will also compete in Men’s Air Rifle, joined by Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Maryland)and University of Kentucky’s Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Kentucky), who recently dominated the Air Rifle Selection Match held in Anniston, Alabama. Davis led the field with two impressive scores of 623.0 and 625.3, and also grabbed gold in both finals over the two-day match.
In the Women’s Three-Position Rifle event, Amy Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) will be one to watch, especially after grasping a quota and seventh-place finish in the event at Ft. Benning. Joining Sowash and looking for the second Quota slot is 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington) and Texas Christian University’s Hannah Black (Richmond, Virginia).
In the Air Rifle events, the hunt for quotas continues after Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) claimed the first in Fort Benning after placing fifth. Competing with Beard and Sowash in Munich is 16-year-old Sarah Osborn (Hampton, Virginia), currently the youngest National Team Member, who looks to top her recent performances from the Bavarian Airgun Championships and Meyton Cup in Germany earlier this year.
Two-timeOlympian Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) also looks to earn more a quota for Men’s Rapid Fire after his sixth-place finish in Fort Benning. Joining him is Brad Balsley (USAMU/Uniontown, Pennsylvania) and five-time Olympian Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Florida).
Air Pistol athlete Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) heads to Munich after a strong performance in Fort Benning, where he finished eighth. Brown earned the first quota in this event while at CAT Games. Junior World Champion Alexander Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida) and Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana) look to earn the second quota slot in Munich. For Men’s 50-Meter Free Pistol, recent fifth-place finisher and quota slot winner James Henderson (USAMU/Midland, Georgia) looks for that gold-medal finish along with Brown and Mowrer; Mowrer being the only eligible competitor in this event to earn the second quota.
In the Women’s 25-Meter Sport Pistol event, 2008 Olympian Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Arizona) also looks to earn a podium spot in Munich after narrowly missing the finals in Fort Benning, where she placed ninth. Competing alongside Silva will be Stephanie Fryer (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama). Fryer and Uptagrafft will be joined by Junior Team member Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas); in both Women’s Pistol events all three USA athletes will be looking to snag the first quota slot.
For this World Cup, Airgun athletes were chosen at the Selection Match in Anniston, Alabama in April while Smallbore (.22 caliber) athletes were selected through the selection match held in Fort Benning in March.
View live results on the ISSF website: http://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/results.ashx
ISSF World Cup for Rifle/Pistol
- May 26 – June 6, Munich, GER
- Click for Full Schedule.
- Thursday, May 28: Men’s Air Rifle, Women’s Air Rifle
- Friday, May 29: Men’s 50m Free Pistol, Women’s 25m Sport Pistol
- Saturday, May 30: Men’s Prone Rifle, Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol
- Sunday, May 31: Men’s Air Pistol, Women’s Three-Position Rifle
- Monday, June 1: Women’s Air Pistol, Men’s Three-Position Rifle
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.
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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.