Fort Benning to Host Paralympic Shooting World Cup Featuring 16 USA Shooting Team Members
The USA Shooting Team is sending the largest contingent to ever compete in a Paralympic World Cup as 16 promising shooters head to the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning, Georgia, to compete in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Cup June 1 – 7.
This World Cup will mark the first time the event has returned to the United States since 2011 and is a tremendous opportunity for proven and promising American shooters with physical disabilities to compete domestically against some of the best Paralympic shooters in the world. Athletes are also eager to earn Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS) for eligibility to compete in the IPC Shooting World Championships July 17 – 26 in Suhl, Germany, which also begins the qualification process for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
Fresh off her gold-medal win in Falling Target Rifle at the World Cup in Szczecin, Poland earlier this month, Tammy Delano (Rome, New York, pictured center) will look to build on that success, along with her Air Rifle teammates John Joss (Corsicana, Texas/USAMU) and Joshua Budd (Fort Benning, Georgia /USAMU) who claimed bronze in the team event.
Joss, who will be shooting on his home rage at Fort Benning, is the 2013 USA Shooting Paralympic Athlete of the Year and finished in fifth place in R3 (10m Air Rifle Prone SH1), in which he holds the Americas record. Joss also is the current Americas record holder in R6 (mixed 50m rifle prone SH1).
“I look forward to competing at the home of champions – the USAMU,” said Joss. “I’ll just do my best to represent the country and Army by hopefully making the podium!”
Read more about Joss here.
Perhaps one of the strongest competitors to face Joss and teammates in the R3 event is Matt Skelhon of Great Britain who won gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games and silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Another strong international competitor to watch at this World Cup will be Veronika Vadovicova of Slovakia, the current R2 (Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1) and R8 (Women’s 50m Three-Position Rifle SH1) European champion who also won gold in R2 at the 2008 Paralympic Games.
On the Pistol side, Michael Tagliapietra (Fon du Lac, Wisconsin) has also found success, winning silver in the P3 (25m Sport Pistol Mixed) event at the IPC-Approved ISCH competition in Hanover, Germany. He also finished fourth in the Falling Target Pistol event at the Poland World Cup. Read more about Tagliapietra here.
Competing in front of her “hometown” crowd, Columbus (Ga.) State University junior Kelsey Moral (Sharpsburg, Georgia) will make her World Cup debut when she competes in the Air Rifle events. She will be joined by several members of the USAMU Paralympic Section, as well as other members of the Armed Forces; including Israel Del Toro (Cibolo, Texas) who is active duty Air Force and even Junior Cadet Mariah Beckham (Daleville, Alabama) of the JROTC.
“The IPC World Cup USA is a great opportunity for U.S. athletes to compete on home turf and gain IPC experience,” said Paralympic National Coach Bob Foth. “It also provides a chance for us to get several new athletes Classified (IPC eligibility evaluation), earn the MQS scores required for World Championship entry, and even learn about adaptive equipment used by foreign athletes.”
The IPC World Cup will be held on the Pool International Range Complex on Fort Benning and spectators are welcome to attend the event for free. A schedule of events can be found here (Rifle events are noted with “R” and Pistol events with “P”): http://bit.ly/1ku7SoR (The R8 and P2 events tentatively scheduled to occur though may be cancelled, depending on participation. The R9 event has been cancelled.)
For more information on Paralympic shooting events, click here: http://content.yudu.com/A2uav3/May2014/resources/31.htm. For more information about Paralympic Shooting, click here: http://www.paralympic.org/shooting.
- Jazmin Almlie (Houston, Texas)
- Nick Beach (Dresden, Ohio)
- Mariah Beckham (Daleville, Ala.)
- Jeffrey Brown (Pueblo, Colo.)
- Joshua Budd (Fort Benning, Ga.)
- Israel Del Toro (Cibolo, Texas)
- Tammy Delano (Rome, N.Y.)
- Len Esparza (Cupertino, Calif.)
- Rickie Fry (Chesapeake, Va.)
- John Joss (Corsicana, Texas)
- Kelsey Moral (Sharpsburg, Ga.)
- Kerry Morris (Grand Prairie, Texas)
- Barbaro Ponce (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Jay Rivera (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Michael Tagliapietra (Fon du Lac, Wis.)
- Shaun Tichenor (Fort Mitchell, Ala.)