Led by Emil Milev’s record-breaking Finals match, Day 2 of the USA Shooting Pistol Selection Match wrapped today at the Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. with the naming of six athletes to the World Cup USA team in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol and Women’s Air Pistol.
The top-three athletes in each of the five pistol events contested at this Selection Match are assured a spot on the World Cup USA roster and will shoot in Ft. Benning, Ga. during the March 27-April 4 event. The event is also serving as Part I of a two-part selection process to determine the USA Shooting Team that will compete at the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships in September. The final half of the World Championship, CAT and remaining World Cup selection will take place May 9-22 in Fort Benning, Ga.
World Cup USA selections are made by adding qualification points together over two courses of fire along with the points earned from a competitor’s respective finals placement, with the first-place finisher earning eight additional points to their qualification score for the day. In Rapid Fire, top finisher gets six additional points added to his qualification score with just six finalists in the event.
In Rapid Fire, the owners of the podium spots at the 2013 USA Shooting National Championships: Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.), two-time Olympian Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Brad Balsley (USAMU/Uniontown, Pa.) will represent the United States at World Cup USA later in March.
Milev, a five-time Olympian, earned a World Cup Finals gold medal in November and began his 2014 campaign this week by setting a new National Record in today’s final with 33/40 hits – which put him just one shy of a World Record. Sanderson was the top finisher in the first match while Milev finished third. Balsley finished second Tuesday followed by a fourth-place finish today.
In the 25m Rapid Fire event, the centers of the five targets are 75cm (~29.25″) apart, and the 10 score zone has a diameter of 10cm (~3.9″). In the finals, shooters must score a 9.7 or higher on each of the five targets in the 4-second allotted time to shoot.
“Watching the recent Sochi Games and seeing all the individual stories of success is driving me to train more, harder and with greater dedication,” said the 1996 Olympic silver medalist Milev prior to the event. “I’ve earned confidence through them. I know with the right mixture of hard work, desire, vision of success, and trust in my abilities, I can be part of Team USA again in 2016.”
National Team members Teresa Meyer Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.), Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) and 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) will represent the United States in Women’s Air Pistol. Despite some Finals struggle, Chambers shot the two highest qualification scores each day with a 380 and 387, respectively. Using those scores combined with her third and fourth-place final standing in each match helped elevate her to the top point earner by an eight-point margin. Paterson and Uptagrafft tied each other in overall cumulative score to earn their spots. Uptagrafft won the first-day event and finished fourth today while Paterson picked up a silver medal on Day 1 and managed a sixth-place result today despite suffering flu-like symptoms throughout Wednesday’s match.
The rising depth, energy and youth in Women’s Pistol was on full display during the course of the Women’s Air Pistol event led by Paterson’s selection. Her junior teammates Alana Townsend (Kalispell, Mont.) and Darian Shenk (Annville, Pa.) also had a strong showing. Townsend, a junior finalist at the recent Bavarian Airgun Championships, showed up and secured fifth and seventh-place finishes. Shenk, meanwhile, rebounded from not making final Tuesday to earn the top spot in today’s event.
Two days of Men’s Air Pistol competition starts Thursday while Women’s Sport Pistol begins Friday. The Men’s Free Pistol event will conclude the match and will be contested Sunday and Monday.
Scores from the Women’s Air Pistol and Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol events can be found here: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/2014_Pistol_Selection/Rizzults/2-26.pdf.
Click on the following link for a complete Pistol Selection Match schedule: Daily Relay Schedule.
Live Target Scoring will be available via our YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/usashootingteam
Image courtesy USA Shooting