Petty Officer 1st Class Sandra Uptagrafft competed in her second event at the London Olympics on Wednesday, finishing in 28th place overall in women’s 25-meter sport pistol at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
The Navy reservist and wife of U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft couldn’t keep pace with the high scores shot by a field chockfull of current and past Olympic medalists. Uptagrafft shot a 576 in the qualification round and failed to reach the final.
Jangmi Kim of Korea won the gold medal after setting a new Olympic record with a qualification score of 591. Kim barely held off 2008 gold medalist Ying Chen from China, who closed a six-point deficit to take the lead with five shots left in the final. The Korean shot five tens in the fourth and final round, securing the gold and winning the first shooting medal in two decades for a Korean female.
“It’s fantastic,” said Kim. “The last women’s medal in shooting was 20 years ago. Korean men shooters are really good and I wanted to show them that we are equally as good. I’m not sure if this is a dream or reality.”
Chen won the silver medal. Olena Kostevych of Ukraine won the bronze medal, her second bronze in the London Games.
Two favorites in the event failed to make the final. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Maria Grozdeva of Bulgaria finished in 9th after losing in a three-person shoot-off to make the final while second-ranked Celine Goberville of France, who already had won a silver medal in 10-meter air pistol, finished in 16th place.
Unlike at her first event Sunday, Uptagrafft had her biggest supporter in the stands cheering her on, husband Eric. He will compete in the men’s rifle prone event on Friday.
“I am so proud of her,” Eric said. “She set out a goal years ago to compete in the Olympics and she did it. To share this experience with her is victory in itself.”
Images courtesy of Michael Molinaro, US Army Marksmanship Unit