U.S. World Cup Success Continues with McPhail Silver in Changwon

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 6, 2013)

Michael McPhailThough not stout on numbers, the U.S. Men’s Rifle team featuring three U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) stalwarts showed their clout with all finishing inside the top-15 of an all-star field of marksmen in the Men’s 50m Prone Rifle event  at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Changwon, Korea.

New finals structure or not, Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wis.) has proven once again he’s a dominant force in the sport after earning a silver medal Saturday despite less than ideal weather conditions.  McPhail hasn’t finished outside the top-5 in any of the three previous World Cups he’s competed in.   

Having not fared well in his only previous new final opportunity at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Championships in Colorado Springs, McPhail seems to be coming to grips with the new format change that brings a zero-start final to the table, eliminating any qualifying score.  But after qualifying with the fourth best score and moving into the gold-medal shootout, he might not be able to wait to get another chance at a final shot he’ll be questioning for a while.  

Kentucky Rifle standout Henri Junghanel of Germany secured the gold medal backing up his stellar NCAA season.

The new final match starts off with two series of three shots. Then, the final proceed with single shots. Starting from the eighth shot, and then after every two shots, the athlete with the lowest score is eliminated, until the medals are decided. The Final match ends up with two shooters on the line, dueling for gold on the last two shots. 

In the final, Junghanel scored 209.6 points out of 20 shots, with a great average higher than 10.4 points per shot. Shooting a 10.7 and a 10.3 in the last series, he outscored McPhail who shot a 10.7 and a 9.8. 

“I don’t know where that 9.8 came from!” McPhail said, right after the match.

McPhail shot 39 bulls eyes over the course of 60 shots in London only to still be on the outside looking in after tying with nine other competitors for the five spots in the Olympic final. With a five-shot shoot-off to determine the other five finalists, McPhail thought he was in great shape averaging a 10.26 throughout and never straying outside the 10-ring on any of the five shots.  But his finals dream would be undone by three-tenths of a point, mere fractions of an inch.

Two-time Olympian Eric Uptagraff (Phenix City, Ala.) finished ninth, just .5 points out of the hunt for finals.  Jason Parker (Omaha, Neb.), whose specialty is the Men’s Three-Position Rifle event he’ll shoot on Tuesday, finished 15th.

Qualification results can be found clicking on the following link:

Final results:

USA Shooting’s World Cup season is off to a great start as the Team earned three medals in the first World Cup of the season in Acapulco. The shotgun-only event featured 13 U.S. athletes with nine earning finishes inside the top-10.  Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (skeet/Eatonton, Ga.), Brian Burrows (trap/Fallbrook, Calif.) and Ian Rupert (double trap/Muncy, Pa.)  earned gold, silver and bronze medals for the U.S. squad. 

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