Double Trap Double For Eller, Holguin in Munich

MUNICH, Germany

Munich World Cup Photos courtesy of Forderkeis WurfscheibeWith three months to go before the start of the 2014 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships, Glenn Eller (Houston) and Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, California) reminded everyone once again that the center of the Double Trap world is seated firmly in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Taking part in the ISSF World Cup in Munich, Germany, Eller and Holguin walked away with the silver and bronze medal.  This, of course, is nothing new for the double trap contingent of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), which features Eller, Holguin, Josh Richmond as well as Derek Haldeman . 

The elite Army Marksmanship combination of Eller, Holguin and Richmond rarely visits any range in the world without prospecting some hardware and today was no different picking up the fourth and fifth medal of the nine World Cup medals handed out thus far this season.  In 32 events since 2008 including Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup Finals and World Cups, an American has finished lower than sixth only six times.  In the nine events since the disappointment in London where no American finished in the top-eight, only once [World Cup Cyprus] has an American finished lower than fifth.   In that stretch, the U.S. team has earned eight medals.  Since 2008, the U.S. Men’s Double Trap Team has won 21 medals in 32 events.  

Today it was Eller’s turn to reach the higher step on the podium earning a silver medal after falling one target short of gold in his finals match versus Hubert Andrzej Olejnik of Slovakia.  Olejnik and Eller engaged in a thrilling dual, but a dropped second target on the second to last double would end the 2008 Olympic champion’s hope of capturing the sixth World Cup win of his illustrious career. 

As has been the case throughout the event in shotgun, competitors were greeted with near perfect weather conditions and the excellent set up of the range helped some of the best clay shooters of the world earn record scores.

“Clays looked bigger than ever, against the green background of the range,” an athlete said according to the ISSF. No surprise, the first qualified athlete, Great Britain's Tim Kneale made it to the final phase of the competition by setting a new world record of 148 targets out of 150 clays. 

Since competition format changes since 2012, qualification scores are no longer carried into the final and a new phase of the competition – the semifinal – has been introduced. There, Kneale, who had never participated in a World Cup final round before, eventually placed fourth after losing the bronze- medal match against Holguin, 28-26. 

Holguin, the winner of the first World Cup stage of the year in Tucson,  qualified for final phases of the competition with 147 hits, and then hit 28 targets in the semifinal. He won an intense shoot-off against Russia’s Vasily Mosin after the ninth pair to advance to the bronze-medal match and then won the duel against Kneal to pocket his second ISSF medal of the season. 

Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania), who had earned a silver medal in each of the two previous World Cups this season, just didn’t have enough Tuesday finishing with 13 misses.  Competitors had to shoot 146/150 or higher to make the semifinals whereas in the two previous World Cups, the highest qualifying score was 142. 

In other action Monday, Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) was the top finisher in the Women’s 25m Sport Pistol event in 23rd place followed by Teresa (Meyers) Chambers (Dearborn, Michigan) three behind in 26th-place.  Jason Turner (Rochester) turned in the top performance in Men’s 50m Free Pistol with a 15th-place finish followed by James Henderson (USAMU/Midland, Ga.) in 58th. 

The Munich World Cup continues Tuesday with the Men’s Prone Rifle event featuring Olympian Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wisconsin), three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons (Browns Mill, New Jersey) and University of Alaska-Fairbanks standout Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska).  Also, Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol will conclude its two days of competition with Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs) looking for another medal this season.  He sits in ninth place after the first round of competition while Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Florida) and Brad Balsley (USAMU/Uniontown, Pennsylvania) sit in 32nd and 45th place respectively.  

Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Massachusetts) highlighted competition taking place over the weekend with a spot in the finals and an eventual seventh-place finish in Women’s Air Rifle.  Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California) finished 47th in her first World Cup event while Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) was 50th. Emmons’ wife, Katy,competing in her first international event since London, walked away with a silver medal while 14-year-old Martin Veloso surprised the field in winning the gold medal.  In Men’s Air Rifle, Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls) was the highest finisher in 49th place.  

In Shotgun, Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Oregon) was impressive throughout the Men’s Trap competition as he didn’t drop a point over 75 targets.  Normally, that would likely be a finals-worthy result but not in Munich where scores were sky high.  His two misses over 125 targets wasn’t good enough to even get into a shoot-off with eight athletes scoring 124.  Hadden would have to settle for an 11th-place finish. With a score of 120, Jake Wallace (Castiac, California) finished 49th overall followed by Seth Inman (USAMU/Independence, Missouri) with seven total misses finishing 82nd. 

Kicking off the competition on Friday was the gold and silver medal earned by Tori Burch (Kerrville, Texas) and Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs).  Of the 45 shotgun medals awarded through three World Cups, the USA Shooting Team in shotgun has earned 10 medals thus far in 2014. 

*Editorial assistance provided by Marco Dalla Dea of the ISSF.

For complete ISSF Munich World Cup results, click here:

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