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WORLD CHAMPS PREVIEW: Two-Time Olympian Frank Thompson Headlines Talented U.S. Men’s Skeet Team

MOSCOW (September 5, 2017)

Frank Thompson (left), Hayden Stewart (center) and Christian Elliott are set to showcase their skeet skills starting Thursday in Moscow, Russia.In the penultimate event of this International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship for Shotgun, the six men who make up the U.S. Men’s Skeet contingent are showing promise as they prepare to take on the world’s best at the Foxlodge Shooting Range this week in Moscow, Russia.

Leading the squad in experience is two-time Olympian Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska). Thompson had to fight through two shoot-offs to earn the final Open Team slot on his fifth World Championship Team. His highest finish at Worlds has been 13th, his result at the 2013 World Championships in Lima, Peru. He helped win a team world title at the 2009 World Championships and was a part of the silver-medal winning team during the 2014 World Championships as well.  Earlier this year, he also won his first international medal when he won silver at the ISSF World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico.

He’ll be joined by Christian Elliott (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Greenwood, Indiana), who was a member of two World Championship teams as a Junior in 2014 and 2015 (Elliott is still of Junior age but will compete in the Open division).  Most recently, Elliott earned his way onto his first international podium when he won silver at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Porpetto, Italy just two weeks ago.  Elliott has already been a part of two medal-winning junior World teams in his career.

“Winning the silver medal has definitely helped my confidence heading to the World Championship, but competition will be of a higher caliber there,” Elliott said. “I know I have the skill and capability to be at the top of the pack, so I will definitely just need to stay focused on one target at a time and they will piece themselves together for a spot on the podium.”

Completing the Open squad is Elliott’s USAMU teammate Hayden Stewart (Columbia, Tennessee), who was the top finisher in the grueling, three-match World Championship Team selection process. This will be Stewart and the rest of the Junior Men’s Skeet squad’s first trip to a World Championship.

It’s been 12 years since an American not named Vincent Hancock has stepped onto the World Championships when current National Team coach Todd Graves earned bronze behind Hancock’s first of three world titles in 2005 as a 16-year-old.  

Eli Ellis (left), Nic Moschetti (center) and Eli Christman will try to make it four-straight podium finishes for U.S. Junior Men's Skeet Teams at the World Championships.Prior to the last final in the Men’s Junior Skeet World Championship selection process, Nic Moschetti (Broomfield, Colorado), Eli Christman (Hixson, Tennessee)and Eli Ellis were tied at 246 targets each, and had such a lead on the competition that they solidified their team spots before the last Final began at the USA Shooting National Championships in July.

Ellis (College Station, Texas) joined Elliott in the Final in Porpetto - his first international competition - where he finished in sixth place.

“I was surprised at how comfortable I felt shooting in Italy,” Ellis said. “I expected it to be nerve wracking, but surprisingly it wasn’t. I feel like the scores will be higher in Russia than Italy just because the scores weren’t what I expected them to be in Italy. I don’t plan to chance anything unless something doesn’t feel right or how I’d like to be. I’m looking forward to the competition in Russia.”

This junior team will be looking to keep a streak alive with a U.S. team stepping onto the podium in each of the last three World Championships and seven of the last eight years.  

Individual competition begins Thursday and ends Saturday with a Mixed Skeet Team event to conclude action Sunday.  Team USA, powered by Winchester Ammunition, is off to a great start having earned four medals and five top-10 finishes in Trap events. 

WOMEN’S TRAP RECAP | MEN’S TRAP RECAP | TRAP MIXED TEAM RECAP 

More than 600 athletes from 73 countries are competing at this World Championship in Moscow. For more information, visit the World Championship website and follow along with results on the ISSF website

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