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Beard, Sherry Top Finishers at Smallbore Rifle Selection Match

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (December 5, 2018)

The Smallbore Rifle Selection Match concluded two rounds of Qualification and Finals today at the Olympic Shooting Center with world-class scores and a few surprises. 

This match served as the selection match for the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup next year in New Delhi, India. The 2019 World Cup season is of particular importance as each stop has valuable Olympic quotas available to the top finishers. An Olympic quota is essentially a country’s ticket to participate in a specific event in the 2020 Olympic Games. Earning an Olympic quota in competition ensures the country a spot in a specific event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes will earn Olympic Team slots via a trials system established by USA Shooting.

Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana/U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit) shot a world-class score of 1185 in Women’s Three-Position Rifle on her first day of Qualification – five points higher than the world record and the highest of anyone in the entire Selection Match. With a 16-point gap between her and the next closest competitor on Day One, Beard easily walked away with the win even before the Final started as she amassed a 32-point lead with her two days of Qualification plus points earned from her Finals finish. (Points were awarded in Finals based on finish – eight for first, seven for second and so on). Just a couple weeks ago, Beard had also won gold and an Olympic quota for the United States in Women’s Three-Position Rifle at the Championship of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico. 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) finished in second place with a cumulative score of 2332 and Alison Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) finished in third place with the same score of 2332. At the end of the Final, Thrasher and Weisz were tied in points for this Selection Match and position was determined in a shootoff with Thrasher winning, 10.6 to 10.0. Weisz also recently won gold at the Winter Airgun Championships and will also compete in Women's Air Rifle at the World Cup in India.

On the Men’s Three-Position Rifle side, Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado/USAMU) had also secured the Selection Match win prior to the Final with this two-day Qualification total of 2352. Though he only finished in fifth place in the Final, he won the overall Selection Match with a total score of 2356. Sherry had also won overall bronze Saturday at the Winter Airgun Championships, where he also secured a start in Men’s Air Rifle at the World Cup in New Delhi. 2012 Olympian in Pistol and recent Winter Airgun Champion in Men’s Air Pistol Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana) finished in second place with a cumulative score of 2348. He will be busy competing in both events at the World Cup in India, but Mowrer has competed in Three-Position Rifle in World Cups this year in Fort Benning, Georgia and in Munich, Germany in 2017. Mowrer also won a bronze medal at the World Cup in Fort Benning in 2014 in Men’s Prone Rifle. Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) finished in third place with a cumulative score of 2343.

Paralympic athletes also participated in this match as it also selects the athletes to compete in the World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS, formerly IPC) World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates early next year and Szczecin (Poland) Grand Prix. It will also be factored in to the selection process for the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia. The World Cup in Al Ain will have 2020 Paralympic Games qualification slots up for grabs for athletes (like quotas in the Olympic Games).

The top finisher in R6 (Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1) was John Joss (Corsicana, Texas/USAMU) with a two-day total of 1228.2. 

Complete results from the Smallbore Rifle Selection Match

Download Photos from this Match

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