Two American men advanced to the finals of Men’s Double Trap on the fifth day of competition from the “London Prepares” International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup.  Reigning Olympic gold medalist Glenn Eller (USAMU/Katy, Texas) and Billy Crawford (Johnstown, Ohio), the 2011 World Clay Target Championships junior gold medalist, earned their way into the six-person final after shooting scores of 139 and 142 respectively.

Displaying all the talent that led to last year’s Junior World title, Crawford advanced to his first ever World Cup final and was in third place entering the 50-shot conclusion.  But his hot shooting wouldn’t carry over as the young up-and-coming double trap specialist, perhaps unnerved by the moment, missed eight targets including three of his first 10 shots.   Still, today’s fifth-place finish tops his best-ever result among a world-class field.

The weather once again wreaked havoc on the field with temperatures in the 40s, persistent rain and gusty winds.

“Despite the weather, I felt like I shot well and was pumped to make my first World Cup final,” said Crawford.  “I wish I could have done more in the end but just having the experience of being here is going to really help my confidence.”

Despite a lower than normal qualification round, Eller showcased his veteran savvy by hitting 145 targets in the finals but would eventually be eliminated from medal contention after losing in a shoot-off to Italy’s Daniele Di Spigno (2-1).

Mikhail Leybo of Russia would prevail over Francesco D Aniello of Italy to earn his first World Cup medal.

Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, Calif.) would hit 134 targets on the day to finish 18th.

Up next for Team USA will be action in the Men’s 50-meter Rifle Prone event featuring Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.), Eric Uptagrafft (USAMU/Phenix City, Ala.) and Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wis.).  The men will shoot a 60 shot qualification round Tuesday morning to determine the six-person final that will be contested later in the day.  Also getting underway Tuesday will be the Men’s 50-meter Free Pistol event featuring U.S. competitors Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.), Daryl Szarenski (WCAP/Seale, Ala.) and Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.).

All fifteen of the ISSF Olympic shooting events – in the disciplines of Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun shooting – will be conducted during the test event that runs through April 28.

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