Sergeant First Class Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) capped off an outstanding international season today with a silver medal finish in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final. Uptagrafft, who recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan, shot 599 out of 600 match points in Men’s 50m Rifle Prone. Uptagrafft stayed strong throughout the final to shoot 102.8 points for a total of 701.8 points. This win marked Uptagrafft’s third silver medal on the international scene in 2011-his earlier two came at the ISSF World Cups in Sydney and Changwon. Uptagrafft said, “It was great being back on the podium again. Of course I wish the medal was another color, but it was still good training for next summer in London.”
As a result of his outstanding shooting the past two years, Uptagrafft qualified for a nomination to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. His performance at the ISSF World Cup Final has certainly solidified him as a front-runner for the Olympic podium. National Rifle Coach Major Dave Johnson commented, “Eric stepped back on to the podium in style; his 599 in the qualification was very solid and a good performance. He’s in great shape as he approaches the London Olympic Games.” Bulgaria’s Sergei Martynov finished in first place with 702.8 total points and Poland’s Sebastian Rabalski won the bronze medal with 699.4 points.
The 2010 ISSF World Cup Final Men’s 50m Free Pistol Champion, Sergeant First Class Daryl Szarenski narrowly missed the podium today. Szarenski shot 568 match points to advance to the final in the upper-half of the competitors. He shot 88.2 points in the final for 656.2 total points. The gold medalist was Andrija Zlatic of Serbia with 667.9 total points. He was followed by Leonid Ekimov of Russia with 665.9 points and bronze medalist Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japan with 659.1 total points.
Tomorrow, Americans Jamie Beyerle (Lebanon, Pa.), Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.), Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) and Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will represent the USA in Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position and Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. For final scores and rankings, please visit the ISSF Website.