As expected, three-time Olympian SFC Daryl Szarenski, 43, of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) earned the first slot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s air pistol team at USA Shooting’s Olympic Trials for Airgun Part 2 here on 25 February.
“I think the hardest part is making the team,” Turner said. “Once you get past that nomination, you can focus more on your training and what it takes to reach the Olympic podium.
Szarenski led from start to finish, beginning with two days of trials at the CMP South Marksmanship Center in Anniston, Alabama in early December. He carried an 18-point lead into the second trial here and maintained his lead after two additional 60-shot matches plus finals. Szarenski scored 2537.4 points.
Szarenski was the 2011 Pan American Games Men’s 10m Air Pistol gold medalist and quota winner.
“I’m just glad to be nominated to the Olympic Team,” said Szarenski. “We’ve upped our training this quad and I’m excited to get to London. You try not to go into a defense and hold onto your lead. I just kept on working and shot the best I could every day.”
The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Jason Turner, 37, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, placed second with an aggregate score of 2519.6 and earned the second available men’s Olympic air pistol team slot.
Turner will participate on his third U.S. Olympic team. In addition to his 2008 bronze performance in Beijing, Turner shot for the U.S. team in the Athens Games in air pistol and free pistol.
“I’ve been fighting a head cold that drains my energy, but I was able to get into the zone and go back to the basics to shoot my best.”
With the first position solidly in the hands of Szarenski, Turner felt early pressure from Brian Beaman, 27, of Selby, South Dakota, who finished third overall (2506.6) and junior Will Brown, 20, of Twin Falls, Idaho (2504.1). When the trials left Anniston, Turner held a slim one-point lead over Brown but the veteran finished with a solid performance, holding off Beaman and Brown. On Day 4 Turner iced his Olympic bid with a 102.1 in the best trials final among all competitors.
“These pistol trials were very intense,” said National Pistol Coach Sergey Luzov. “Our talent pool was deeper than 2008, and the competition was fierce. Daryl and Jason are the two most experienced Olympians.”