There’s days as a competitor where you stand up and applaud an historic result, whether it’s a teammate or not. Today at the 2014 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships in Granada, Spain, was one of those days.
It took place in Men’s 50m Free Pistol, an event no American qualified in, but one in which every American present in Granada, Spain, whether in Rifle, Pistol or Shotgun, stood up and recognized when Jin Jongoh, the five-time Olympic medalist of South Korea, broke “The Record”. That historical 581-point world record set in 1980 by Alexander Melentiev while representing the USSR at the Moscow Olympic Games – the longest-lasting shooting world record. Athletes from all over the world had been chasing that result for 34 years.
Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Oregon) had a good day as well on the American side of things with a 50-straight over his two rounds in Men’s Trap, which gives him, with a score of 98, a fighting chance for a finals berth Wednesday should he have one more perfect round and some luck. Nine guys in the field have shot 99-plus with two perfect scores. The pressure will be on all competitors Wednesday with just one round of 25 targets to determine the finalists. Still battling is Seth Inman (USAMU/Independence, Missouri) who dropped one on the day and sits at 97. After a nervy 22 this morning, Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) rebounded with a 25 straight and is at 96.
In the junior division, Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas) could look back on today’s fourth round 22/25 and recognize it as perhaps a chance spoiled. He was in good shape for a possible finals run until that moment. Now, with a score of 93/100, he sits just out of a group of 12 guys with a 94 or better with one round remaining. He’s going to have to run them with a 25-straight Wednesday and hope for seven other guys to miss a bird or two. Austin Odom (USAMU/Benton, Arkansas) sits at 90 while Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia) is at 89.
Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) was the top finisher in the Women’s Air Rifle event with a 17th-place finish with a score of 414.8; Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California), was 33rd with a score of 413; while Amy Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) was 39th with a score of 412.7. Combined scores put the three in ninth place in the team standings. Taking the gold medal was former West Virginia Rifle product Petra Zublasing of Italy who defeated China’s Siling Yi by a slim .3 points. Germany’s Sonja Pfeilschifter was the bronze medalist.
In the Junior Men’s 50m Free Pistol event, Wyatt Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) was 26th with a 532, while Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida) was 41st with a 517 and David Wilkinson (Charleston, South Carolina) was 48th with a 492. Brown had it going during his first two series (20 shots) with a 92 during each of those strings before ending with four straight series in the 80s.
Day one of Women’s and Junior Women’s 25m Sport Pistol featured action in the precision stage of competition. The Rapid Fire stage and finals will be contested on Wednesday. Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) and Enkelejda Shehaj (Naples, Florida) both shot 286 and sit in 28th and 35th place with Teresa Chambers (Dearborn, Michigan) in 48th.
A score of 271 puts Kellie Foster (Rockdale, Texas) and Irnia Andrianova (Shaumburg, Illinois) in 41st and 42nd while Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas) is in 48th.
Smallbore rifle events begin Wednesday with the Elimination Matches in Men’s Prone. Three elimination relays will help limit the field for Thursday’s match qualification round. Ready to compete is three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey), 2012 Olympian Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wisconsin) and Air Force Academy cadet David Higgins (San Clemente, California). A two-time Olympic medalist and three-time World Champs medalist in the event, Emmons arrived in Granada minus his two smallbore rifles courtesy of the Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, which has taken kindly to not transferring many guns through to Granada in recent days. He’s got McPhail’s three-position gun at his side for the elimination and just enough experience to manage the setback.
Image courtesy USA Shooting