COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado –-(Ammoland.com)- Six USA Shooting athletes have made their way to Italy to square off against the best of the 2016 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) season as the ISSF World Cup Final for Rifle/Pistol starts today in Bologna, Italy.
The top athletes from the 2016 ISSF World Cup series who earned points in the four stages in Bangkok, Thailand, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Munich, Germany and Baku, Azerbaijan qualified for their slots in this World Cup Final, along with the medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games and 2015 World Cup Final title holders. Nearly 100 athletes from 34 countries are expected to compete.
“Any time I have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world, it is a great experience for me,” said Virginia Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia), fresh off her gold-medal win in Women’s Air Rifle at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. “I am very excited to get back into competition and test my skills again. After Rio, I took some much needed time off. Because of that, I think I’ve come back into competition mentally refreshed. I think that’s going to help me perform the way I want to perform in the World Cup Final and throughout the college season.”
Joining Thrasher will be the defending World Cup Final champions in Men’s Three-Position Rifle Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) and Men’s Prone Rifle Michael McPhail (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Darlington, Wisconsin). Emmons’ World Cup Final win last year marked his sixth World Cup Final title since 2002. The 2015 title was the first for McPhail, who narrowly won it by beating Russia’s Kirill Grigoryan by one point.
Rounding out the lineup for the United States will be nine-time World Cup medalist Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol, two-time World Cup medalist Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) in Men’s Air Pistol and Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) in the Women’s Three-Position Rifle event.
Brown and Sanderson finished just outside of the Finals in their events at the Olympic Games in August and will look to build on those performances at this World Cup Final.
“I feel like I had a pretty good mental performance at the Games,” Brown said. He finished in 10th place in Free Pistol and 12th in Air Pistol – the strongest finishes for the United States in those events at the Olympic Games since 1992. “If I can replicate that, I believe I’ll be in contention [at World Cup Final]. I’m just going go out, have some fun and shoot my best.”
Competition begins Thursday with Men’s Prone Rifle and concludes Sunday with the Men’s and Women’s Three-Position Rifle events. The Finals for the events where the U.S. has competitors are listed below (all times are listed in Eastern Standard Time).
- 50m Rifle Prone Men at 7:45 a.m.
- 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men at 10:45 a.m.
- 10m Air Rifle Women at 7:30 a.m.
- 10m Air Pistol Men at 11:15 a.m.
- 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women at 8:30 a.m.
- 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men at 10:00 a.m.
A complete schedule of events can be found on the ISSF website. The 10 Final matches will be streamed live on the ISSF website and on the ISSF Livestream channel.
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 usashooting.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/USAShooting.