Colorado Springs, Colo. –  The USA Shooting Team gave its all at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Clay Target Championships. The Team returns home with a total of two individual open medals, three individual junior medals and three junior team medals. Two of those medals included new world records as the Junior Men’s Double Trap trio of Billy Crawford (Johnstown, Ohio), Private First Class Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) and Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) smashed the team world record by 13 targets. The American’s total of 428 targets broke a record that had held since 1998. Crawford also raised the standard by setting a new junior world record of 147 out of 150 targets in Junior Men’s Double Trap.

Another notable performance came from Sergeant Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas) in Men’s Double Trap. Eller, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, reminded the crowd of the definition of tenacity as he charged through 36 shoot-off targets to advance to the final. After nearly shooting an entire round, Eller attacked the final to the tune of 45 out of 50 targets to find himself in a shoot-off yet again, but this time the prize up for grabs was the bronze medal. Eller silenced Vitaly Forkeev of Russia after only four targets to bring home the bronze.

Four-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) asserted herself as a serious medal contender in 2012 as she also won the bronze in Women’s Skeet. Rhode shot 72 match targets to tie four other shooters for three spots in the final. After four shoot-off targets her fate-and place-in the finals was sealed. Known for her consistency in the final round, Rhode fired a perfect 25 targets to place herself in line for a spot on the podium. Tied with China’s Wei Ning at 97 out of 100 targets, Rhode hit seven targets to Ning’s eight targets in the shoot-off. As last year’s world champion, and again finding the podium in 2011, shooting fans are expecting great things from Rhode in 2012.

In Junior Women’s Skeet, MorganCraft (Hughesville, Pa.) fired 68 out of 75 match targets to tie with Lucie Anastassiou of France for the silver and bronze medals. Craft shot one target to Anastassiou’s two targets in the shoot-off to claim the bronze medal for the red, white and blue. Not only did this add to the USA’s medal count, but this was Craft’s first overseas trip and first international medal. Her teammates Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) finished in fourth place with 67 targets and Riley Moody (Collinsville, Okla.) shot 58 targets for eighteenth place. The Women’s Junior Team scored the team bronze medal.

The ISSF World Clay Target Championship is unique in that junior shooters are afforded the opportunity to compete on the international stage against the best juniors in the world. The USA Shooting Team’s junior presence would not be possible without funding from the Dallas Safari Club. National Shotgun Coach Bret Erickson said, “We are grateful for the support of the Dallas Safari Club of the Junior World Clay Target Championship Team. Without their assistance, many of these juniors would not be able to attend and represent the United States. With a total of six junior medals, it’s safe to say that the future of shooting is in good hands-and trigger fingers.”

Overall, the United States finished third in the medal standings behind Russia and China with eight total medals. Russia scored 12 and China had six medals (more silver than the U.S.). In the closing ceremony, Mr. Medhat Wahdan, the ISSF Vice President and Technical Delegate for the championship, said, “I have on my report nine new or equaled world records; numbers are telling us that this has been a great competition.” Members of the USA Shooting Team are returning to prepare for the first leg of the U.S. Olympic Trials for Shotgun from Sept. 22 to Oct. 2 in Kerrville, Texas. Don’t forget to check out the ISSF YouTube Channel for full-length finals, highlights and interviews from the ISSF World Clay Target Championship.

Winchester small logoWinchester Ammunition is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team: Winchester® Ammunition has been the exclusive ammunition sponsor and supplier of the USAShooting Shotgun Team since 1999. Members of the 2008 shotgun team brought home four medals from Beijing using Winchester AA International Target loads. Winchester is an industry leader in advancing and supporting conservation, hunter education and our country’s proud shooting sports heritage. For more information about Winchester and its complete line of products, visit www.winchester.com.

Dallas Safari Club

Dallas Safari Club (DSC) is a proud sponsor of USA Shooting’s Junior Team to the World Shooting Championship Team in Belgrade, Serbia. An independent organization since 1982, DSC has become an international leader in conserving wildlife and wilderness lands, educating youth and the general public, and promoting and protecting the rights and interests of hunters worldwide. For more information on DSC visit www.biggame.org.

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.

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