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Ten Athletes Named to WSPS World Championships Team; Travel to World Championship Funded by NRA Foundation Grant

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (April 23, 2018)

The journey to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan starts next week for 10 USA Shooting athletes when they compete at the World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) Championships May 1-12 in Cheongju, South Korea.

At the WSPS Championships, athletes will not only compete for World Championship glory, but it’s also the first opportunity for athletes to earn coveted Paralympic Games quotas. A quota is essentially the entry ticket necessary for a country to compete in the Olympic or Paralympic Games. An athlete can win only one quota for his/her country. 

The USA Shooting Paralympic Team’s travel to the World Championships is critical to the program’s success and has been made possible due to a generous grant from The NRA Foundation of $30,600.

 “With the grant we received, we will be able to fund these athletes travel to the World Championships,” said Platt. “We are so thankful for this support, but we are always in need of additional funding to better train and prepare for competition as well as fund future competitions.”

The USA Shooting Team for this World Championships will feature seven Paralympians, five athletes who competed in the 2014 World Championship and three who will make their World Championships debuts.

Leading the way will be 2016 Paralympic Games bronze medalist McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington), who was recently featured in the WSPS month-out leadup to the World Championships: https://www.paralympic.org/news/cheongju-2018-matured-mckenna-dahl-ready-worlds. Dahl will compete in her medal-winning event of R5 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2), as well as R4 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1), R5 Team and the newly-minted Paralympic event, R9 (Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH2).

“I would like to see myself be more competitive in it and understand more the logistics behind smallbore because it’s a lot more involved than airgun,” Dahl told the International Paralympic Committee in an interview. “Really, I’m just excited to learn more about it and become more competitive in the event.”

Joining her will be her 2016 Paralympic teammates Jazmin Almlie-Ryan (Houston, Texas), John Joss (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Corsicana, Texas), Tammy Delano (Rome, New York), Marco DeLaRosa (San Antonio, Texas), Tricia Downing (Denver, Colorado) and Shaun Tichenor (Brainerd, Minnesota).

Making their World Championships debuts will be Kevin Nguyen (Westminster, California), Stetson Bardfield (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Taylor Farmer (Castalia, Ohio). DeLaRosa and Downing will also compete at their first World Championship in Cheongju.

Though DeLaRosa just started shooting competitively in 2015, he finished in 25th place in his Paralympic Games debut and has two World Cup silver medals on his resume (in 2016 and 2017) in P1 (Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1). Look for his performance to only strengthen, as well as those of rifle athletes Nguyen and Farmer. In their international competition debut at the WSPS-Sanctioned Match in Fort Benning, Georgia last summer, Farmer won silver in R2 (Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1), and Nguyen won silver in R3 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1) and gold in R6 (Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1). Nguyen has also qualified for virtually every Final in every match since.

“I believe the medal potential is high for Worlds,” said National Paralympic Coach Chuck Platt. “We have some great athletes that are well known in international competitions, as well as some newcomers that have yet to prove themselves. World Cup Al Ain [United Arab Emirates] was a good competition leading into Worlds. The athletes were able to fine tune their skills and better prepare for Worlds.”

To qualify for the World Championships, athletes had to earn a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) in their respective events at the 2016 Paralympic Games or over the past year. During the last World Championship in 2014, the U.S. team failed to win a medal, but won two Paralympic quotas.

Not only are Paralympic shooting opportunities growing worldwide, but similar results are present within USA Shooting.  From the program’s beginning in 2008 to two Paralympic competitors in London at the 2012 Paralympic Games, to eight competitors and the first medal won by an American woman in Shooting at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At this World Championship, 225 athletes from 46 countries are expected to compete. For more information on the WSPS Championships, including scores and schedules, please visit the World Championships website: https://www.paralympic.org/cheongju-2018. Watch LIVE streams of each of the events from the World Shooting Para Sport Championships via the Paralympic Games YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ParalympicSportTV/videos?shelf_id=67&view=2&sort=dd&live_view=502. Note: Cheongju is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.

 

About The NRA Foundation
Established in 1990, The NRA Foundation, Inc. (“NRA Foundation”) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that raises tax-deductible contributions in support of a wide range of firearm-related public interest activities of the National Rifle Association of America and other organizations that defend and foster the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans. These activities are designed to promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological and artistic context. Funds granted by The NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth, women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement officers, hunters and competitive shooters.

The NRA Foundation has awarded over 42,000 grants totaling more than $335 million in grants in support of qualified groups and programs. 

 

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