Smallbore Athletes Earn Slots on World Championship Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 31, 2018)

Twelve more slots on the U.S. team that will compete in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship this summer were decided as Three-Position Rifle, Sport and Rapid Fire Pistol events concluded today at the Spring Selection Match for Rifle/Pistol in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Athletes began their World Championship Team quest during the 2017 Fall Selection Match and solidified their standing today following two days of Qualification and a Final. The World Championships will take place August 31-September 15 in Changwon, South Korea.

Some athletes will compete in two events at the World Championship as rifle athletes Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia) and Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) had already earned team slots in Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle events earlier this week. They will also now compete in Men’s and Women’s Three-Position Rifle with their finishes today. Pistol athletes Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) had also earned slots in Men’s and Women’s Air Pistol, but will now also compete in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol and Women’s Sport Pistol respectively as well.

In Men’s Three-Position Rifle, three-time World Championship medalist Matt Emmons (Brown Mills, New Jersey) was the top finisher in Spring Selection by 16 points over second-place finisher George Norton (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Salina, Kansas). Norton finished fourth overall in the two selection matches. Joining Emmons on the World Championship Team will be former Prone Rifle specialist Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wisconsin) and Kozeniesky, who also finished in third place in the Spring Selection Match.

On the Women’s side, Murray State University’s Mackenzie Martin (Murray, Kentucky) was the top finisher in overall World Championship Selection and second at the Spring Selection Match. She will be joined on the World Championship Team by Beard and University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California).

Sanderson won his second start at this World Championship in decisive fashion – winning Spring Selection by 34 points over 16-year-old Henry Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia). Though Henry did not qualify for the team in this event, his brother, 18-year-old Jack III, finished in third place overall. Finishing second in overall selection and third in the Spring Selection Match was Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida). Chichkov won gold in Junior Men’s Standard Pistol and Sport Pistol at the last World Championship in 2014 as a Junior.

In Women’s Sport Pistol, Uptagrafft won her second start by being the top finisher in this event. The 16-year-old Fall Selection Champion Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, Georgia) may have finished in fourth place at this match, but her aggregate score was good enough to secure her the second place overall and a trip to the World Championship. Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Arizona) finished second in the Spring Selection Match and will compete the third spot on the World Championship Team.

These athletes join the 24 shotgun athletes that earned their selection to the World Championship Team last weekend in Tucson, Arizona during the Shotgun Spring Selection Match. They join the 12 athletes who earned their slots in Airgun earlier this week in Fort Benning. Read what shotgun athletes are Changwon bound as well in Skeet and Trap.

Overall World Championship Selection Points for Rifle Pistol:

Junior athletes will earn their World Championship Team slots in the Rifle and Pistol events at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships starting this week. Junior competitors for the non-Olympic events at World Championship will be selected during this summer’s National Championship.


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