It was another day of close moments for the U.S. team on the second day of competition at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup USA in Fort Benning, Ga.
Still shut out of the Finals, U.S. competitors in Men’s Air Pistol and Women’s Air Rifle posted strong scores, but with the high-level of competition at this World Cup, fractions of points were meaning the difference between a podium slot, and even a slot in the Finals. For U.S. competitors, there was no exception.
World Cup USA Men’s Air Pistol gold medalist in 2013 Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) said he felt he started off shooting strong, but was not able to qualify for the Finals with his qualification score of 581. He was the highest U.S. finish of the day and placed 11th in the competition, missing out on a Finals slot by only one point.
Olympians Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) and Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) shot 578 and 576 respectively to finish in 14th and 21st place. Brown and Turner will also compete in the Men’s Free Pistol event on Tuesday.
Hoang Xuan Vinh of Vietnam won the gold medal in Men’s Air Pistol by shooting a 202.8, a new World Record Finals score. The previous record was set by 2008 Olympic gold medalist Pan Wei of China at 202.3. Hoang beat Russians Sergey Chervyakovskiy and Vladimir Gontcharov who finished in second and third place respectively.
In Women’s Air Rifle, Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.) also narrowly missed qualifying for the Finals with her qualification score of 415.1, just 1.3 points out of a Finals spot and finished 15th overall. She is also one of two American rifle athletes who qualified to compete in Air and Three-Position Rifle and will get another chance at a medal in Three-Position Rifle on Monday.
Meredith Carpentier (Waukegan, Ill.) made her World Cup debut finishing in 28th place with a score of 412.2. Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.) finished in 38th place with a score of 409.1.
Though 15-year-old Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Ark.) was only shooting in a Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) position and thus not eligible for the Finals, her score of 415.7 would have put her just .7 points out of qualifying for a spot in the Finals.
Jing Chang of China, who just started shooting internationally two years ago, won the gold medal in this event. Ivava Maksimovic of Serbia took the silver and Anna Zhukova of Russia took the bronze.
More than 430 athletes from 53 countries have descended on Fort Benning to compete in ten Olympic events in the Rifle and Pistol disciplines. Competition continues tomorrow with Men’s Three-Position Rifle and Women’s Sport Pistol.
Matt Emmons (Brown Mills, N.J.) will compete in Three-Position Rifle event after winning it at the January Selection Match. This World Cup will be his first since winning his third Olympic medal (bronze) at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Also joining him on the line will be Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska) and Joseph Hein (Mason, Mich.) of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit who’ll be shooting on his home range.
Shooting Women’s Sport Pistol for the U.S. will be 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) and Women’s Sport Pistol National champion Teresa Meyer Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.), both of whom also competed in Women’s Air Pistol on Friday. Enkelejda Shehaj (Naples, Fla.) will also compete in the event.
Image courtesy USA Shooting