Milev Wins Rapid Fire Pistol at USA Shooting National Championships

FORT BENNING, Georgia (June 15, 2018)

Even though six-time Olympian Emil Milev (Columbus, Ohio) was unable to shoot the Final, his 15-point lead following the two days of Qualification was enough to secure him the gold before the Rapid Fire Pistol Final even started today at the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol in Fort Benning, Georgia.

On the line were National Championship titles, as well potential invitations to the National and National Junior Teams for medalists. Medals were awarded in Rapid Fire Pistol based on the cumulative score from two days of Qualification matches, as well as additional points earned based on finish in the Final.

Due to technical delays that pushed the start time of the Finals back by two hours. Milev, a 1996 Olympic silver medalist in the event and the defending National Champion, was forced to leave to miss the Final due to travel arrangements. He surrendered his spot in the Finals to the next athlete eligible for the Finals,  Brian Kim (Los Angeles, California),  who will compete on the U.S. team for the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship later this summer so Kim could use this Final as a training opportunity. Milev works as the pistol coach at The Ohio State University.

Entering the Final, Jack Leverett III (Bainbridge, Georgia) held a one-point advantage on Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) following Qualification. As additional points were awarded based on finish in the Final (six for first, five for second and so on), when Sanderson won today’s Final and Leverett finished in second place, the athletes were tied for overall points to determine medal placement. The medals were decided in a single, five-shot series shootoff. Though Leverett made four of five hits, Sanderson had a perfect series of five hits in the shootoff to win the silver medal. Leverett won the bronze medal.

Leverett (pictured with the Junior medalists) also won the Junior Men’s Rapid Fire gold before the Final even started as he entered the Final with a 19-point lead on the next-highest competitor, his brother, Henry, who won the silver medal in the Junior competition. Ryan Yi (Diamond Bar, California) won the bronze medal.

Today was also the first day of competition in Men’s Air Rifle and Women’s Three-Position Rifle. Currently Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) leads the Women’s Three-Position Rifle competition with a world-class score of 1172. Ginny Thrasher (Spirngfield, Virginia) and her West Virginia University teammate Morgan Phillips (Salisbury, Arkansas) are just one point back with 1171 each.

In Men’s Air Rifle, Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) leads following the first day of competition with a score of 623.5. Jacob Buchanan (Spring, Texas) is in second place with a score of 621.9) and Ole Miss Assistant Rifle Coach Jean-Pierre Lucas (Speers, Pennsylvania) is in third with a score of 620.8.

More than 200 athletes are competing in the National Championships that run through Sunday. This event is free and open to the public, please stop by the Fort Benning Visitor Center for a pass prior to coming to the range. View the complete schedule of events:

View complete competition results thus far:

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