Air Pistol Athletes Named to World Championship Team
Six Air Pistol athletes have earned the chance to compete for the USA Shooting Team at the World Championships later this summer.
Day two of the Rifle/Pistol Selection Match wrapped today in Fort Benning, Ga. with Theresa Meyer Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.), 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.), Enkelejda Shehaj (Naples, Fla.), three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.), James Henderson (Midland, Ga./U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit) and Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) all earning spots to represent the United States at the International Shooting Sports Federation World Championships in Granada, Spain in September. These athletes will join their 30 shotgun teammates that were determined during their Spring Selection Match in March.
This Selection Match portion for Pistol is 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 an athlete 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 additional points; second in a final earns seven and so on down to one point for eighth place.
Not much of a shakeup occurred on the Women’s side as Chambers entered this Selection Match with an eight-point lead on her closest competitor. She will be joined by Air Pistol National Champion Uptagrafft; as well as Shehaj, who put up strong performances at the Winter Airgun Championships in December.
The youngest member of the National Team, 17-year-old Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.), finished in third-place overall at the conclusion of this Selection Match, including winning today’s final. Though she qualified for a team slot, she has declined her spot to compete on the Junior Team at this World Championships. Fourth-place finisher Shehaj will take the slot instead.
On the Men’s side, Brown entered the match with a decisive 19-point lead on Turner. Though Brown failed to qualify for the Final each day of this Selection Match, his lead he built was still enough to help him edge out Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.) for the third and final Men’s Air Pistol slot. Turner, who posted top-two scores each day and placed third- and second-place in each day’s Final surged to finish as the top competitor. Henderson, who proved he’s a contender in Free Pistol earlier this year also showed he’s talented with an Air Pistol by climbing into the second position with top-three scores each day and a second-place finish in one of the Finals.
Up next at this Selection Match is the Men’s Free and Women’s Sport Pistol events. The additional rifle/pistol athletes for the Open division will be determined throughout this Selection Match that continues through May 22.
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). 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.
Remaining Pistol Selection Match SCHEDULE
- May 13-14 Men’s Free & Women’s Sport
- May 15-16 Rapid Fire