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Bittersweet Revenge for McPhail at World Cup Final

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (October 6 2016)

Photo courtesy of ISSF.It wasn’t the Olympic gold he so much covets, but earning a second consecutive globe trophy at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in Bologna, Italy is a pretty good elixir to help ease some of the bitterness that lingers for Prone Rifle shooter Michael McPhail.  

It was the first time back in a competitive situation for Sgt. 1st Class McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin) after a disappointing 19th-place Olympic finish in Rio.   The event featured 10 of the best Prone Rifle shooters in the world but was absent the Olympic gold and silver medalists. 

McPhail, 34, sealed the 2016 season by finishing atop the ISSF World Cup Final podium, as his final score of 209.1 points turned out to be unreachable for Denmark’s Torben Grimmel, the 2000 Olympic silver medalist who dominated this year’s World Cup series by winning three of the four stages. 

“For me, the 2016 season has been kind of bittersweet,” McPhail said to the ISSF after today’s podium ceremony. “It’s good to win this title. But this is an Olympic year. At the Games, in Prone shooting, there’s only one guy that’s happy, for everybody else it’s a disappointment. You train for the one match, and it doesn’t really matter if you win everything else.” 

There was some revenge on the mind of Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) today as well.  For him it was in trying to erase a memory from Olympic Trials in which a poor final day performance ended a chance to compete in the event he’s earned two Olympic medals in.  He showcased his strength by earning a spot alongside McPhail on the podium with a bronze-medal finish.  It was the 13th WCF medal of his career, fourth in Prone.  He’ll compete in Three-Position Rifle on Sunday. 

McPhail qualified second behind Grimmel with a score of 627.6, 5.6 points ahead of his Rio total.  Emmons was right behind with a 626.6. Of course it’s 10.9 week at USA Shooting as we anxiously await 10.9 Day on Sunday, October 9, which reminds everyone to shoot for excellence.  We’ve got the meter set to record 10.9s (a perfect score) for the World Cup Final matches as well as the NCAA Collegiate Rifle matches taking place throughout the country.  McPhail got the meter going with five 10.9s shot Thursday, including three in the Final.  Emmons scored one on the 28th shot of his match. 

Serbia’s Stevan Pletikosic, a 1992 Olympic bronze medalist, took fourth, finishing ahead of the Rio 2016 bronze-medal winner Kirill Grigoryan of Russia. 

The event also saw the final shot in the career of Australia’s Warren Potent, who finished eighth today.  Potent is a five-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic gold medalist who earned 15 World Cup medals throughout his impactful 36-year career in the sport.  The 54-year-old retires as the reigning World Champion in the event.  

See the Scores – Qualification | Finals | Watch It

The World Cup Final continues tomorrow for Team USA with three-time Olympian Keith Sanderson set to compete in Rapid Fire Pistol, scheduled at 10:45 am ET. Follow the matches live at www.issf-sports.org 

Editorial support and photo provided by the ISSF.

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