Final registration numbers have been received and USA Shooting (USAS) is expecting 250-plus shotgun competitors to participate at the upcoming 2012 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Cup, March 23-31 in Tucson, Ariz. With many highly-ranked shooters set to descend upon the Arizona desert, including shooters from 42 countries and a strong U.S. squad, the action will be intense as the ISSF kicks off its 2012 World Cup season.
The Tucson Trap & Skeet Club, an official USAS Certified Training Center, will stage the event that will serve as one of two final World Cup stops contested prior to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Shooters will compete in the three different international shotgun events of trap, double trap and skeet.
Among the 250-plus competitors expected, 30 athletes rank within the ISSF top-10 in their respective disciplines.
Competition in Women’s Trap, featuring Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska), will be fierce with seven of the ISSF top-10 and five of the top-six finishers from the 2011 World Championships set to participate.
In Men’s Skeet, reigning Olympic gold medalist Sergeant Vincent Hancock (USAMU/Eatonton, Ga.) will look to re-establish world dominance against a top-notch field featuring seven of the ISSF top-10 and all four top finishers from the 2011 World Championships.
In Men’s Double Trap, 2008 Olympic gold medalist and current World No.5 Sergeant Glenn Eller (USAMU/Katy, Texas) is aiming to start his year with a World Cup win but will have to hold off a strong contingent of double trap shooters including seven of the ISSF top-10. Eller’s Olympic teammate Sergeant Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, Calif.), a fourth-place finisher in Beijing, is also set to participate as is 2012 U.S. Olympic Team nominee Staff Sergeant Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pa.). Also representing the USA will be current Junior World Champion Billy Crawford (Johnstown, Ohio).
U.S. competitors in Men’s Trap feature Collin Wietfeldt (Hemlock, Mich.), Jake Turner (Richland, Wash.), Dustin Anderson (Woodstock, Ga.) and Ryan Hadden (Pendleton, Ore.). The USA Shooting Team does not have a quota in Men’s Trap and will be unable to send a representative to London. However, the field of athletes for Tucson is ripe with talent including six of the ISSF top-10.
In Women’s Skeet, the U.S. Team is fully armed with Olympic and World Championships medalists ready to defend their home turf. Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) begins her quest for Olympic history in Tucson as the World No.1 ranked skeet shooter. The four-time Olympic medalist has the opportunity to become the first U.S. athlete to win five individual medals in five Olympic Games if she accomplishes the feat yet again in London. Rhode will be joined by Junior World Championships bronze medalist Morgan Craft (Hughesville, Pa.) and fourth-place finisher Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas), who also finished second to Rhode at the USA Shooting National Championships.
Highlighting the world-class field of shooters are the following:
- Australia’s Michael Diamond and Mark Russell who have a combined four Olympic and 13 World Championship medals between them in trap and Men’s Double Trap
- Canadian shooter Susan Nattrass, a six-time Olympian and 14-time World Champs medalist in Women’s Trap
- Frenchman Stephane Clamens, 2011 World Championships bronze medalist in Men’s Trap
- German Andreas Loew, a 2011 World Championships silver medalist in Men’s Double Trap
- Great Britian’s Richard Faulds, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist and four-time Olympian in Men’s Double Trap
- Italy’s Daniele Di Spigno, a four-time World Champion in Men’s Double Trap
- Kuwait’s Abdullah Alrashidi, a 2011 World Championships bronze medalist in Men’s Skeet
- Norway’s Tore Brovold, a three-time World Championships medalist and current World No. 1 in Men’s Skeet
- Russia’s Alexey Alipov, a two-time Olympic medalist in Men’s Trap, Svetlana Demina, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist and eight-time World Championships medalist in Women’s Skeet, and Elena Tkach, a 2011 World Championships bronze medalist in Women’s Trap
- Slovakia’s Danka Bartekova, a five-time World Championships medalist in Women’s Skeet and Zuzana Stefecekova, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and World No. 2 in Women’s Trap
- Spain’s Juan Jose Aramburu, the current World Champion in Men’s Skeet