Michael McPhail and Matt Emmons both talked about three shots that got away from each of them in their Prone Rifle Match on day four of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championships. In a discipline that demands greatness, McPhail and Emmons, admittedly, were just good today.
Good for McPhail meant walking away .3 points shy of a finals opportunity where a top-five placing would have secured an Olympic quota. Russia’s Sergey Kamenskiy set the pace with a world record qualifying match score of 632.3 or a 10.53 average for each of his 60 shots (out of a 10.9 scale). The 2012 Olympian McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wisconsin) shot four 9s over his 60 shots but it was the final string of 10 shots that ultimately spoiled his chance. Through his first five series he averaged a 104.4 or 10.4 per shot. His last string was a 102.9 and included two of the four 9s he shot.
The three-time Olympic medalist Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) tallied eight shots in the 9s on the day, but it was three particular shots in the second series (shots 11-20) that likely cost him including a 9.3 and 9.5. Get those two points back and perhaps we’re writing a different story given his 1.6 margin from the eighth-place qualifier and finalist.
Despite the world record in qualifying, Kamenskiy would have to settle for fourth while 52-year-old Australian Warren Potent won gold. Daniel Brodmeier from Germany won the silver medal while bronze went to Yury Shcherbatsevich of Belarus.
Other action from Thursday included Men’s and Junior Men’s Air Pistol. U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shooter James Henderson (Midland, Georgia) was 43rd with a 575; Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) was 51st at 574; while 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester, New York) was 95th at 552. In the juniors, Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida) scored a 568 for 21st place. Daniel Cheon (Ceritos, California) and Wyatt Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) shot identical 560s and placed 45th and 46th.
The U.S. Women and Junior Women take their shots tomorrow in Air Pistol with 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) joining Teresa Chambers (Dearborn, Michigan) and Enkelejda Shehaj (Naples, Florida). Featured competitors on the junior side include Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Ohio), Helen Oh (Walnut, California) and Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas).
The Elimination Match in Women’s Three-Position Rifle was held today as well with all three U.S. women advancing including 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington), Amy Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) and Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pennsylvania). Holsopple had the best elimination score of 578 while Furrer and Sowash were one point behind at 577. Tomorrow, 66 women will be on the line aiming for a finals appearance and a chance at five Olympic quotas.
On the docket for Friday at the World Championships is the one-day, 75 target competition in Women’s and Junior Women’s Trap. Results this year from the U.S. women have shown the potential is there for medal opportunities. Tori Burch (Kerrville, Texas) and Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs, Colorado) finished first and second respectively in the Munich World Cup earlier this season, which featured the most competitors of any World Cup on the schedule. The 2011 Junior World Champion Beaman also followed that with another silver medal at the Spain Grand Prix at the same range she’ll be shooting on tomorrow. Add in National Championships runner-up Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California), a fifth-place finisher here at the 2013 World Cup, and the expectations are high.
“Having earned a Junior World title in 2011, I’m excited to compete in the open women’s category now where I hope to become a world champion once more,” Beaman said. “Having the honor of bringing home a medal and a quota spot for the USA would be a dream come true.”
The junior side features Amber Culwell (Rose Bud, Arkansas), Samantha Smith (Spring Hill, Tennessee) and Katlyn Lawson (Oakfield, Georgia). Culwell was a bronze medalist at the Junior Cup in Suhl, Germany, earlier this year and paired with Smith and Lawson to win team gold at that match as well.
“What an amazing opportunity to be able to represent my country and myself at the ISSF World Championships,” Lawson said. “Growing up in a little town in South Georgia, you don’t hear much about a girl going overseas to shoot at a major competition. It’s hard to gather my thoughts about being able to do this, I just feel so blessed. We have all been working and training hard for this moment. I’m so excited!”
Image courtesy USA Shooting