The Tucson Trap and Skeet Club has turned into a shooter’s paradise with Wednesday marking the third straight day that world records have fallen at the 2012 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Cup. In all, five records have been broken or tied through the first three events.
Today’s record score came in Men’s Double Trap when British sharp-shooter Peter Robert Russell Wilson, 25, won the event with a new finals world record score of 198 hits out of 200 targets, shattering the previous record of 196 hits set by China’s Hu Binyuan in 2009. Wilson made it to the final with the highest qualification score – 148 hits – equaling the World Record established by Russia’s Fokeev at last year’s World Cup Stage in Concepcion, Chile.
Malta’s flag bearer William Chetcuti secured the silver medal, confirming his place as one of the top double trap shooters in the world. The 27-year-old made it into the final in second place with a qualification score of 147 hits, one target behind Wilson, and hit 47 targets throughout the final match, finishing on the podium with a total score of 194 targets. Chetcuti had won last year’s ISSF World Cup in Beijing, becoming the first ever Maltese athlete to win an Olympic Quota.
Team USA was also represented on the podium after a strong comeback from Josh Richmond(USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pa.). The 26-year-old former World Champion made it to the final with the lowest qualification score, 143 hits, after shooting-off against teammate and reigning Olympic Champ, Glenn Eller (USAMU/Katy, Texas), 2 to 1 hits. Zeroing in, Richmond hit 50 targets in the final, climbing up the scoreboard from the sixth to the third place, to finish on the podium with a total score of 193 hits.
“I put my gun away after shooting a 143, thinking I was out of it,” said Richmond. “It’s a pretty big shock for me actually. After the shoot-off, I went back and thought about what I needed to do since I was coming in down by a lot in terms of looking at the gold. I didn’t think it was out of the question but these guys are shooting great here, so I basically told myself it’s a 50 or nothing. I had nothing to lose since I was in sixth place, which was great considering the rounds I had earlier today. I went in there and had no pressure on myself and kept battling through it. I kept chewing away and by the end of the round I found myself in third. I’m definitely happy with the outcome.”
Eller had a great score going with a 97/100 through the first two rounds until a third-round 46 would put him in a shoot-off with Richmond. Still reeling from the slip in the third, Eller was unable to compose himself and lost in the first round of the shoot-off.
Billy Crawford (Johnstown, Ohio), the 2011 Junior World Champion, finished with a 141 to finish 13thoverall.
Men’s Double Trap podium from the Tucson World Cup.
For Richmond, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army’s Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), today’s event meant a return to some competition normalcy, something he has longed for since returning from a deployment to Afghanistan from September 2011 to January 2012. Having already earned a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team by virtue of the world title he earned in 2010, Richmond is out to prove he has what it takes to bring home a medal at the London Olympic Games.
“You’re always trying to win the gold but sometimes it just isn’t your day, which is much like today,” he said. “The extra practice I had here is definitely going to help me in London. Coming back from having to work hard all three rounds, to not shooting well, to shooting a perfect round is going to be huge for my confidence level and the mechanics I had to work on throughout the day. Overall, it was a great competition day and great round of practice to prepare me for what’s ahead.”
Richmond won’t get much time to celebrate as he and his wife, Charri, are expecting the birth of their second child on April 22. He’ll skip the upcoming London World Cup to be there.
The 2012 ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Tucson continues on Friday with the men’s and women’s trap events. Women’s Trap is contested on one day while the men will shoot rounds on both Friday and Saturday.
Competing for medals for Team USA on the women’s side will be 2008 Olympic bronze medalistCorey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska), Caitlin Barney Weinheimer (Kerrville, Texas), currently sitting in first for the Olympic Team selection, and Kelsey Zauhar (Lakeville, Minn.), who is tied for second with Cogdell and Kayle Browning (Wooster, Ark.) in the Olympic selection process. Browning andMiranda Wilder (Diana, Texas) will also be shooting a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) as part of the event.
Lining up for Men’s Trap will be Jake Turner (Richland, Wash.), Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Ore.) and Dustin Anderson (Woodstock, Ga.). The U.S. will not be sending a representative to London after failing to gain an Olympic quota spot. Also shooting for an MQS will be Collin Wietfeldt(Hemlock, Mich.) and Matt Gossett (Birmingham, Alabama).
Check out the footage of the event at: www.youtube.com/issfchannel
photos: USA Shooting