Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.) has battled a lot just to get back to this moment but after inconsistent shooting and a battle with thyroid cancer, today’s silver-medal finish in his signature event should be good medicine for that which has ailed him over the past two years and be the springboard he was looking for as we head toward the 2012 Olympic Games.

With 89 days remaining until the London Games, Emmons put the finishing touches on the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) “London Prepares” World Cup for Team USA by winning a silver medal in the final event, the Men’s 50m 3-position rifle.  Emmons would enter the final in second position and despite shooting a 95.7 out of 109, the two-time Olympic medalist had built up a big enough advantage over his nearest competitor to secure the silver medal and the 35th World Cup medal of his illustrious career.

Jason Parker (USAMU/Columbus, Ga.) would finish 10th and miss entering the final by just two points.  Joe Hein (USAMU/Lansing, Mich.) finished in 24th place.

The straight 50 Jake Turner (Richmond, Wash.) posted yesterday in the last day of the Men’s Trap competition wasn’t enough to get him into the finals as he finished one shot out of the finals. Nevertheless, he was the only competitor in the world-class field to post back-to-back perfect rounds and finished eighth overall, moving up from the 50th position he was in entering the last two rounds.

Despite the rainy, windy and cold conditions seen throughout much of the 10-day competition, the USA Shooting Team showcased its readiness for the upcoming Olympic Games with 12 top-10 finishes and four medals, with Emmons’ silver being team-high.  Over the next three months, they’ll look to turn several close calls into medals.

Up next for the USA Shooting Team will be a ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Lonato, Italy, that begins Thursday, May 3.  The Rifle and Pistol Teams will compete in an ISSF World Cup in Milan, Italy, beginning May 15.  The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun takes place May 17-20 while the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore (.22 caliber) begins May 30.

photo: USA Shooting

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