Starting today, 63 USA Shooting Team members are going quota hunting down in Guadalajara, Mexico, in pursuit of the all-important Olympic quotas available at the upcoming Championship of the Americas (CAT) Games, October 13-19. Competition is underway in Men’s Air Pistol already Monday morning and will be followed by Women’s Air Pistol later today.
Eleven possible Olympic quotas are available in the 15 Olympic events with nothing available for Double Trap, or either of the two women’s shotgun events. Quotas will only be distributed for winning the event. The U.S., thanks to Josh Richmond and Brandy Drozd victories at the recent World Championship, has secured two Olympic quotas to date. The U.S. was the highest finisher among Americas competitors in seven of the 11 events at the World Championships. Events where the U.S. was not the highest finisher within the Americas included both Men’s and Women’s Air Pistol, Men’s Free Pistol and Men’s Trap. The CAT Games will feature 426 athletes competing from 24 nations.
Thirty-seven (37) of the 81 World Championship Team athletes are competing including World Champions Richmond and Drozd along with Junior World Champions Dania Vizzi and Alex Chichkov as well as Junior World Championship silver medalist Ian Rupert. Looking to obtain a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) that helps make them Olympic eligible will be 23 U.S. athletes. These athletes will shoot for score only and won’t figure into medal totals or be eligible to compete for the Olympic quota.
On the line Monday hoping to earn two of the possible 11 Olympic quotas available over the next seven days is 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester), 2013 World Cup USA winner Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) and U.S. Army Marksmanship representative James Henderson (Midland, Georgia). Joining them on the line as MQS competitors are 2008 Olympian Brian Beaman (Selby, South Dakota) and 2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana). Competing on the women’s side will be 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) along with Teresa Chambers (Dearborn, Michigan) and Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas). Shooting MQS will also be Susan Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) and Enkelejda Shehaj (Naples, Florida).
Five other Olympians will also be competing including two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), two-time Olympians Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) and Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado), along with Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska), Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington) and Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Arizona).
CAT is the second of 11 possible competitions in which Olympic quotas are available but the final chance in 2014. Nine other opportunities await in a busy 2015. Earning a quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes earn the available spots via a point and trials system established by USA Shooting.
The Shooting Confederation of the Americas (Confederaciòn Americana de Tiro – CAT) was founded and recognized by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) in 1973 as the Continental Confederation for the Shooting Sport for all countries of the American Continent.
Championship of the Americas Schedule
- Monday, October 13 – Men’s & Women’s Air Pistol
- Tuesday, October 14 – Men’s & Women’s Air Rifle
- Wednesday, October 15 – Women’s Sport Pistol, Men’s Free Pistol Elimination, Women’s Prone Rifle and Men’s & Women’s Trap
- Thursday, October 16 – Men’s Free Pistol Qualifying + Finals, Men’s Trap
- Friday, October 17 – Men’s Prone Rifle, Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol (Stage 1), Double Trap
- Saturday, October 18 – Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol (Stage 2), Women’s 3P Rifle, Men’s & Women’s Skeet
- Sunday, October 19 – Men’s Skeet, Men’s Standard Pistol, Men’s 3P Rifle
Logo courtesy USA Shooting