Go Fourth: Matt Emmons Qualifies for Fourth Olympic Team Behind World Cup Final Win

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 6, 2015)

Two men, two wins and two Olympic qualifiers. That’s the story from the World Cup Final in Munich, Germany with Matt Emmons winning a World Cup globe trophy Sunday and, most importantly, qualifying for his fourth Olympic Team in the Three-Position Rifle event.

Thursday it was Emmons’ teammate Michael McPhail (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Darlington, Wisconsin) topping all competitors in Prone Rifle, but today was reserved for Emmons’ continued ascension as the star of his sport. This win helps complete one of Emmons’ finest seasons in a career full of them.  The 34-year-old’s 2015 medal collection also includes one gold, two silver and one bronze as well as two other finals appearances and two national titles.  He'll get another opportunity to earn a spot to shoot alongside McPhail in Prone Rifle next April during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore (.22 caliber).

To cement his spot on his fourth Olympic Team, Emmons needed at least a podium finish, something that almost escaped him as the eighth-best qualifier (top-8 make Finals), finishing just three points ahead of ninth-place finisher Qinan Zhu of China. Emmons struggled in the standing position finishing with the second lowest point total (385) of any of the 10 competitors.  

Once in the zero-start final, however, Emmons’ confidence and experience took over as he led right from the very beginning and never looked back. On his way to the highest step of the podium, Emmons beat the winner of yesterday's 10m Air Rifle Men final, China's 19-year-old shooter Yang Haoran, who closed the match in second place, setting a new Final Junior World Record. The 2014 World Cup Finals champion and reigning European Champion Sergey Kamenskiy of Russia followed them in third, after leading all competitors in qualifying.

“Once I knew that I was at least third, I got so excited,” Emmons said.  “That meant I had made it onto the Olympic Team. It was so hard for me to calm back down for the next two shots and shoot decently. But I still made two fair shots, and that was enough to win.” 

USA Shooting now has qualified four members to the 2016 Olympic Team with more potential still to come as the Shotgun World Championships get started Friday in Lonato, Italy. Joining Emmons and McPhail will be two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) in Men’s Skeet and two-time Olympian Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol.

To watch Matt reach the top of the podium at the World Cup Final, click here:

Editorial assistance and photo provided by the ISSF.  All Olympic Team nominations are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee. 

Categories: Press Releases, Olympic Nominations