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Sowash Wins Olympic Quota, Finishes Seventh at World Cup USA

FORT BENNING, Georgia (May 17, 2015)

When entering today’s Final at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Rifle/Pistol World Cup, Amy Sowash kind of felt like she had already won.

Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) finished the Qualification round of Women’s Three-Position Rifle with a score of 585 – enough to move her on to the Finals. By virtue of just qualifying for the Finals today, Sowash earned an Olympic quota.

“I found out I had won the quota right before the Finals,” she said. “[Assistant National Coach] Jason Parker got the confirmation and he was like ‘You’ve got the quota – now go do good things.’ I knew it going in and it was awesome.”

Sowash said knowing she had a quota locked down prior to entering the Final helped take some of the pressure off.

“The field was hard today,” she said. “You’ve got the top shooters and they all shot well. I still need to work on prone, but I shot great in standing and did some things right. It’s hard to feel bad when you’ve won a quota and shot okay. I feel good and it’s a good step…Now I guess that’s the game between now and the Olympics – figuring out how you can win. I can make a final, now I’ve got to get the winning part down.”

Sowash would seventh overall. Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington) finished in 28th place with a score of 580 and Hannah Black (Richmond, Virginia) finished in 44th place with a score of 576.

Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana), who shot in a Minimum Qualifying Score position (not eligible for Finals), shot a 585 and would have qualified for today’s Final. Beard finished in fifth place in Women’s Air Rifle earlier this week and earned an Olympic quota.

Jing Chang of China won the gold medal in Women’s Three-Position Rifle, setting a new Finals World Record of 463.3. Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia won the silver medal and equaled a World Record of 592 in the Qualification round. She also held the Finals World Record until Chang broke it in today's Final. Barbara Engleder of Germany won the bronze medal.

A quota spot is essentially the entry ticket necessary for a country to compete in Olympic competition in a particular discipline. A country is allowed to earn only two quotas in Women’s Three-Position Rifle, and an athlete can win only one quota for her country - regardless of the discipline. Quota spots are then awarded to the next eligible athlete in the rankings, and thus Sowash and Yelizaveta Korol of Kazakhstan won the two available quotas today.

USA Shooting athletes winning Olympic quotas will still have to earn the right to compete in the Olympic Games separately. Prior to today in the Rifle and Pistol events, the U.S. had only earned one quota each in Men’s Air Rifle, Men’s Air Pistol, Men’s Free Pistol and Women’s Air Rifle. The U.S. earned the maximum allotment of quotas (2) in Men’s Prone Rifle when Michael McPhail (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Darlington, Wisconsin) won the second quota in that discipline with his gold-medal win earlier this week. U.S. athletes have the potential to earn up to an additional 13 for the U.S. prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More information on selection procedures and quotas for 2015 World Cups and the 2016 Olympic Games can be found here.

This World Cup wraps tomorrow with the final two events on the program: Men’s Air Pistol and Three-Position Rifle.

In other news at World Cup USA:

 Olegario Vazquez Raña, President of the ISSF (second from left), awarded the ISSF Gold medal to the Chief of the Organizing Committee Pete Carson (left), and the ISSF Silver medal to Ron Morales (25m Chief Range Officer, third from left) and Earl Litherland (Chief Range Officer at the Finals Hall, right), for their contribution to the success of the competition.

“I would like to congratulate the Organizing Committee for their excellent work in the preparation and in the conduction of this competition,” Raña said. “Congratulations to the athletes who are here, competing for medals and for Olympic qualification slots. We have more than 600 shooters coming from over 70 countries, which just proves the athletes love coming to Fort Benning.”

For complete scores from the ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, please visit the ISSF website at http://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/venue/schedule_by_discipline.ashx?cshipid=1694.

View the full World Cup schedule here: http://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/venue/schedule.ashx?cshipid=1694.

Be sure to follow USA Shooting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use #WCUSA15 to follow the event.

View and download photos from today’s action here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8f7fJq.

*Thank you to ISSF for providing some editorial assistance to this story.

Categories: Press Releases, World Cup 2015
National Shooting Sports Foundation