ISSF World Cup Changwon: Preview

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 9, 2011)

The rifle and pistol athletes of the USA Shooting Team are embarking on their second leg of competition at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Changwon, Korea. With over 500 shooters from 58 federations, the race for 2012 Olympic quotas continues from April 9 to 14. The USA Shooting Team has 14 athletes competing in six different Olympic events. Once again, there will be 24 Olympic quotas awarded to the winners in qualifying events. Despite concerns from some athletes about the location of the World Cup, the opening ceremonies went off without a hitch. The ISSF President, Olegario Vazquez Raña said, “I would like to thank our Korean friends for organizing this competition. This is going to be a great competition, an Olympic Qualifier with an impressive participation of athletes. I wish you all the best success.”

The World Cup begins with the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event. Corporal Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas), Matt Wallace (Fairbanks, Alaska) and Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Md.) will be shooting for the second American quota. Rawlings, who won a quota at the 2010 Championships of the Americas, is not eligible to bring home a quota. Men’s 50m Pistol will also be contested the first day, but the USA Shooting Team is only sending pistol athletes to shoot in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol.

On April 10, Americans Emily Caruso (Fairfield, Conn.), Sandy Fong (New York, N.Y.), Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.), Sarah Scherer (Fort Worth, Texas) and Meghann K. Morrill (Boerne, Texas) will compete in Women’s 10m Air Rifle. Caruso is a two-time Olympian and Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete. Scherer wrapped up her second NCAA season shooting for Texas Christian University and the USAS National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, where she placed second in Women’s 10m Air Rifle. Morrill will be competing in her second World Cup of the season.

Monday begins with Men’s 50m Rifle Prone, where USA Shooting Team member Sergeant First Class Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) brought home a quota and silver medal from the first World Cup in Sydney. U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit teammates Sergeant Joseph Hein (Mason, Mich.) and Sergeant Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisc.) will also be shooting in men’s prone. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Wallace is entered in the event as well.

Fong and Sowash will shoot for the red, white and blue on April 12 in Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position. Sowash, a Resident Athlete at the Olympic Training Center, recently won the silver medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Sydney in Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position.

The Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol athletes take the stage on April 13. The same trio that competed in Sydney—Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pa.), Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) and Sergeant First Class Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.)—will fire for the finals in Changwon. Led by Assistant National Pistol Coach Vladimir Chichkov, the USA will look to Balsley, Milev and Sanderson to bring home the first pistol quota for the Americans.

Finally, the event wraps up with Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position. Hein and Wallace are the American representatives in this 60-shot event. Hein won a quota at the 2010 Championships of the Americas (so he is ineligible), but if Wallace finishes in the top two, then the USA will fill its quota slots for Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position. For more information, please log on to the ISSF Website.

Categories: ISSF World Cup Changwon