Almaty Silver for Double Trap Competitor Josh Richmond
Much like a successful golfer completely reconstructing his or her swing to find even greater success, Josh Richmond did the same following a successful Olympic run. The reward wasn’t immediate but in the second year of that reclamation project, the fruits of labor are clearly visible in shiny silver.
Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.) made it two World Cup medals in two chances Wednesday when he scored another silver medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Almaty, Kazkhstan. Richmond began his year dueling teammate Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, Calif.) in the gold-medal match in Tucson, Ariz., in the season’s first World Cup. He would settle for silver with Holguin earning the first World Cup victory of his storied career. On this day, however, glory would be all Richmond’s with Holguin finishing well back in 17th-place and Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) finishing just out of medal contention with a ninth-place finish overall. Rupert was in a great position to qualify heading into the final qualification round but faltered to a score of 26, leaving him one point out of the semifinals.
Richmond, a Staff Sergeant based with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Ft. Benning, Ga., was in need of a big final qualification round in order to qualify and came up with it by scoring a perfect 30 during the fifth round. He was one of the three competitors out of 42 entries to record perfect final score, but only his meant the difference in advancing to the medal rounds. Only six perfect rounds were recorded over the five qualification rounds. Richmond would shoot a 28 in the semifinal round forcing a shoot-off with Roland Gerebics of Hungary and Vasily Mosin of Russia. He’d go on to defeat those two in a shoot-off hitting on 10 consecutive targets. Italy’s Daniele Di Spigno would execute a perfect score in the gold-medal match, something which Richmond couldn’t match despite putting up a great challenge, ultimately dropping two targets.
With back-to-back medals in consecutive World Cups, Richmond’s game seems to be rounding into form that lead him to a 2012 World title and eight World Cup medals prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. In trying to fix some things with his game, Richmond was inconsistent in 2013 starting with the inability to make the team that would compete at the 2013 World Clay Target Championships in Lima, Peru, while finishing 30th at a World Cup in Nicosia, Cyprus. He rebounded from those disappointments to earn a National Title, stealing it away from Holguin in the Finals and then finished third at each of the past two Selection Match events, which ensured his ability to compete on the World Cup circuit and ultimately the 2014 World Shooting Championships.
Richmond’s medal is nothing new to the ultra-successful U.S. Men’s Double Trap Team. In 31 events since 2008 including Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup Finals and World Cups, an American has finished lower than sixth only six times. In the eight events since the disappointment in London where no American finished in the top-eight, only once [World Cup Cyprus] has an American finished lower than fifth. In that stretch, the U.S. team has earned six medals. Since 2008, the U.S. Men’s Double Trap Team has won 19 medals in 31 events.
Richmond’s Olympic teammate Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) earned a gold-medal in Women’s Skeet Sunday to get the medal parade started for the USA Shooting Team. The event will conclude with Women’s and Men’s Trap. Women, including U.S. Team members Rachael Heiden (Clinton, Mich.), Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.) and Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will shoot Friday, while the Men will begin qualifying Friday and conclude Saturday. U.S. Men competing include Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Ore.), Seth Inman (USAMU/Independence, Mo.) and Casey “Jake” Wallace (Castiac, Calif.).
To see the results from the ISSF World Cup in Almaty, click here: http://www.issf-sports.org/calendar/championship_schedule_by_discipline.ashx?cshipid=1513