Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wis.) earned the USA’s second medal of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) “London Prepares” World Cup Tuesday and in the process established himself as a top contender for Olympic selection.

Competing in the Men’s 50-meter Rifle Prone event, McPhail along with U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) teammateEric Uptagrafft (USAMU/Phenix City, Ala.), earned a spot in the finals.  Scoring a  second-highest finals round of 104.6 points, McPhail would capture a bronze medal and join shotgun athlete Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) as the only U.S. medal-winners to date among the more than 800 competitors participating in the ISSF World Cup event.  In all, six USA Shooting athletes have placed in the top-eight in their respective events with four days of competition remaining.

With the bronze medal, the 30-year-old McPhail earned his sixth World Cup medal overall since 2008 and positioned him as one of the favorites to make his first Olympic Team. He was just .1 points away from a silver medal and 1.3 points away from winning the gold medal which was eventually won by Sergey Martynov of Belarus, a five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist.

Trying to earn his way on to an Olympic Team after a 16-year absence, Uptagrafft earned his way into the final with qualifying round of 592 and then out-shooting another competitor in a qualification shoot-off.  Uptagrafft would end up posting a 104.3 score in the final to finish in sixth place overall.

Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.) also competes in the prone rifle event but with an elimination score of 588 points was unable to advance into the qualification relays.  He’ll gear up to shoot his specialty event, the Men’s 50-meter 3-position rifle, beginning Friday.

Taking place Wednesday will be the finals of 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.).  Also, getting underway will be opening round competition in Men’s and Women’s Trap and Women’s 50-meter 3-position Rifle.

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.

The 2012 ISSF “London Prepares” World Cup Schedule: 

Wednesday, April 25            Men’s 50m Free Pistol, M/W Trap, Women’s 50m 3-position Rifle

Thursday, April 26                 Women’s 50m 3P Rifle, Women’s Trap, Men’s Trap, Men’s 25m Pistol

Friday, April 27                       Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Men’s 50m 3-position Rifle, Men’s Trap

Saturday, April 28                 Men’s 50m 3-position Rifle

* Bold/italics represent FINALS               

photo: USA Shooting

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