The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Clay Target Championships, featuring 30 USA Shooting Team members, came to a close Tuesday with no added American hardware. Junior Bradley Beckmann (Chesterfield, Mo.) came close with a fifth-place finish, one target away from earning a shoot-off for a possible silver medal.
Team USA concludes the 2013 World Championships having won eight medals, including five gold, one silver and two bronze. Six of the medals were earned by the 15 junior competitors participating including two Jr. World Champions, a Jr. World Champs silver medalist, one team gold medal and two bronze medals. The team finished third in the overall medal count behind Italy (17) and Russia (10), but eclipsed Russia by five in the gold-medal race.
Top junior performances at the World Championships have been a staple of the U.S. Team. Since 2010, U.S. junior teams competing at World Championships have been supported with the generous donations of the Dallas Safari Club (DSC). The DSC has provided USA Shooting with grant support for international competitions, generally to support our junior teams to World Championships (with the exception of 2012 where the grant monies went to the pre-Olympic training camp). This year, DSC approved a grant of $30,000 to support USA Shooting’s Junior Shotgun Team in Peru. The additional support has paid off with junior team athletes accounting for 10 individual and 10 team medals during that time along with 25 top-10 finishes.
Beckmann was close to breaking through with the first U.S. Junior medal in Trap dating back 11 straight Championships. Matthew Depudyt is the last U.S. trap athlete to earn a medal back in 1997. Corey Spruill (St. Charles, Mo.) finished with a score of 100 to finish 24th while Austin Odom (Benton, Ark.) shot his way to a 98 and a 27th-place finish.
In the Open Division, John Mullins (Port Orchard, Wash.) was the top U.S. finisher concluding with 118 targets hit for a 12th-place finish. Mullins finished two targets out of a spot in the event semifinals. The U.S. hasn’t earned a World Championship medal in Trap since Bret Erickson in 2006. Shortly afterwards, the two-time National Champion Mullins, 26, took to Facebook to announce his retirement from international trap.
“Conditions were tough and it was a battle the whole match,” Mullins said via his Facebook page earlier today. “Shooting international trap has been a journey that I will never forget, but it’s time to begin a new chapter of my life. This match is my last competition in international trap, however I will continue to shoot sporting clays and American trap. I would like to thank everyone that has helped me throughout my international trap career and I will miss you all!”
Mullins just missed out on making the Olympic Team in 2008, losing to Dominic Grazioli by one target on the final shot. The former U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete was a member of four World Championships teams.
Tied with Mullins after day two, Jake Wallace (Castiac, Calif.) struggled with conditions today and had back-to-back 22 targets hit rounds that dropped him back to 35th overall. Matt Gossett (Springville, Ala.) struggled all three days and finished with a 108 overall in 59th place.
“Very disappointing match,” said Gossett via his Twitter feed (@MattGossettUSA) earlier today. “Prepared and shot hard, just didn’t have it this week. Definitely a learning experience.”
2013 World Clay Target Championships TEAM USA SUPERLATIVES:
- With Junior Team bronze earned by Miranda Wilder, Kimberley Bowers and Amber Culwell, U.S. Junior Women’s Trap teams have now won a medal in all five World Championships since the event began being contested at the World Championships level.
- Miranda Wilder (Diana, Texas) made history in Lima, Peru, by becoming the first person, male or female, to win two Junior World Titles in the shotgun event of international bunker trap during their career. Since the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) began junior shotgun events in 1989, there’s been just eight two-time World Champions, but Wilder becomes the first to do so in Trap.
- Despite the USA’s history of success in Double Trap, Lima marks an all-time best as this is the first-time ever that USA Shooting Teams have swept both team and individual events at a World Championships in this event with individual gold by Glenn Eller and Ian Rupert and team gold by Eller, Derek Haldeman and Jeff Holguin along with Junior Team gold by Rupert, Billy Crawford and Christian Wilkoski.
- 2008 Olympic gold medalist Glenn Eller took gold in the Open Division – his first international medal since a World Cup bronze medal in 2011. For Eller, it was his second career World title having won in 2003 as well. He becomes the fourth American in the sport of Shotgun to win four or more World Championship medals, joining Deena Julin (5), Francis Strodtman and Bret Erickson. Julin never won a world title in her career while Strodtman earned two and Erikson one. Eller is the 22nd American all-time to win four or more World Champs medals in the sport of shooting.
- Led by Junior World Champion Ian Rupert along with Billy Crawford and Christian Wilkoski, the U.S. Men’s Jr. Double Trap team’s gold medal in Lima continues a string of medal success dating back to 1993. Team USA has now earned six Junior World individual medals; including five Junior World Champions since 2001.
- Since Junior Women’s Skeet began in 2001, U.S. women have earned a medal in all but two of the 10 World Championships including four Junior World titles. Dania Vizzi kept that record intact with her silver-medal performance to begin the World Championships in Lima.
- With a Jr. Men’s Team bronze in skeet earned by Phillip Jungman, Nick Boerboon and Luis “Taz” Gloria, Team USA has earned seven Junior Men’s Team medals since 2000.
Image courtesy USA Shooting