Fifteen World Team Pistol Spots in Sight at 2014 Rifle & Pistol Spring Selection Match
The biggest event on the 2014 shooting calendar is the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championships, and 15 pistol competitors will look to earn their way to Granada, Spain, later this summer when the 2014 Rifle & Pistol Spring Selection Match gets underway Saturday in Ft. Benning, Ga.
The event taking place at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) will determine selection for 30 athletes in total as we preview Pistol Selection today followed by Rifle on Friday. The athletes selected will join their 30 shotgun teammates that were determined during their Spring Selection Match in March. Another 30 junior-level performers will be added to the team following final selection at the USA Shooting National Championships in late June. The 90-person squad is easily the largest USA Shooting team assembled every four years.
This Selection Match for Pistol is actually part two of the process it takes to secure a team berth. The first took place back in March at the USA Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Making the World Team requires you to be among the top-three ranked athletes based upon an aggregate score that includes four qualifiers and four separate finals. Aggregate score is determined by adding all qualification scores (4) to any finals points earned during the two matches. Any athlete reaching a final earns points based on their finals rank. First place in a final equals eight finals points; second in a final equals seven finals points and so on to one point for eighth place.
Teresa (Meyer) Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.) is the women’s front-runner in both Women’s Air and Sport Pistol. She owns an eight-point lead over Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) and 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) in Air. She leads by 11 over Uptagrafft and by 24 over Enkeljda Shehaj (Naples, Fla.) in the race for Sport Pistol selection.
Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) commanded the action in March in Men’s Air Pistol to move out to a decisive 19-point advantage over three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.). The more interesting race will likely be for the second and third World Team spots as seven athletes, including three Olympians, are within 15 points of one another in the current standings.
As expected, the Men’s Free Pistol event is wide open with the top-four athletes all within six points of one another and another in 2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer, just 13 points out. Turner is on top with Brown, James Henderson (Midland, Ga.), Stephen Lutz (Tonganoxie, Kan.), John Zurek (Tucson, Ariz.) and Mowrer all in the hunt.
Intrigue in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol is all but gone given the performances of Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) in March. The two are separated by two points from the top position, but own a 29-point advantage over their nearest competitor Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pa.). Balsley will look to lock down the third team slot with Sean Ragay (Columbus, Ga.) 12 points behind.
All athletes earning their way on to the World Championships squad will automatically be selected for the upcoming Munich (June 5-12) and Maribor (June 15-20) ISSF World Cups along with the Grand Prix of Spain (July 14-21) and Championship of the Americas (Oct. 15-22).
Pistol Selection Match SCHEDULE
May 10-11 Men’s & Women’s Air
May 13-14 Men’s Free & Women’s Sport
May 15-16 Rapid Fire
Pistol Selection Match Results (after first Selection Match): http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/2014_Pistol_Selection/Results/Final_Results.pdf