"With Olympic participation quotas at stake, the scores are expected to be at world record levels in all events."
Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) May 12, 2011
USA Shooting, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Valley Hospitality and the Columbus Visitors Bureau, is excited to host the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup USA in Fort Benning, Ga., from May 15 to 22. This event is expected to challenge ISSF World Cup attendance records with over 800 athletes and coaches. Bob Mitchell, Executive Director of USA Shooting, said, “USA Shooting will welcome participants from 74 countries to the largest Olympic-style shooting event hosted in the United States. With Olympic participation quotas at stake, the scores are expected to be at world record levels in all events.” The Opening Ceremony will commence Sunday evening at the prestigious National Infantry Museum with words from the ISSF President Olegario Vazquez Rana, Brigadier General Theodore Martin of the U.S. Army and Chief of the Organizing Committee Lindsay Brooke.
The ISSF World Cup USA will feature 10 different Olympic rifle and pistol events. There will be 24 Olympic quotas awarded to the top finishers in each event. In anticipation of the event, Brooke said, “This world class event will not disappoint, as we welcome the top shooters from around the world. We expect an exciting competition with Olympic caliber results, as these athletes give it their all in hopes of winning a ticket to the Olympic Games in London."
Americans Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.), Sergeant First Class Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) and Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisc.) will take the stage in Men's 50m Rifle Prone. Hometown heroes Uptagrafft and McPhail will have the advantage of competing at the home range of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
Emmons will be joined by Sergeant Joe Hein (Mason, Mich.) and Sergeant First Class Jason Parker (Columbus, Ga.) for the Men's 50m Rifle Three Position event. With seven of the top ten Men's 50m Rifle Three Position shooters in the world on the entry list, the competition will be fierce.
In Men's 10m Air Rifle, National Rifle Team members Jonathan Hall (Carrollton, Ga.) and Corporal Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) will compete for the USA. Rawlings won a quota for the USA at the 2010 Championships of the Americas, so he is ineligible to win a second quota; however, he will be shooting for U.S. Olympic selection points.
In Women's 50m Rifle Three Position, Jamie Beyerle (Lebanon, Pa.), Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Wash.) and Sarah Beard (Danville, Ill.) will represent the USA in the premiere women's rifle event of the competition. The Americans have already secured two quota places in this event, so now the race heats up as the USA Shooting Team for London 2012 is taking form.
Sarah Scherer (Fort Worth, Texas) won the first Women's 10m Air Rifle quota at the last ISSF World Cup in Changwon, Korea. She recently wrapped up her sophomore year at Texas Christian University and will be traveling to Fort Benning to compete in World Cup USA. Teammates Emily Caruso (Fairfield, Conn.) and Meghann K. Morrill (Boerne, Texas) are also shooting for American glory.
Petty Officer First Class Sandra Uptagrafft (Los Angeles, Calif.) is returning to the ISSF World Cup circuit after a nine month deployment with her Seabee unit, the Third Naval Construction Regiment in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Her last competition was the 2010 ISSF World Championships where she placed eighth overall in Women's 10m Air Pistol. The USA Shooting Team has not won quotas in either Women's 10m Air Pistol or Women's 25m Sport Pistol, but Uptagrafft is back on the scene and ready for the podium.
Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) and Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) are familiar with the pressure and demands of competitive shooting, as they were teammates on the 2008 Olympic Team. In November, Beaman won the USA's only Men's 10m Air Pistol quota and Turner secured a Men's 50m Free Pistol quota at the Championships of the Americas. Though they are ineligible to win additional quotas, both Beaman and Turner will be aiming for medals in Men's 10m Air Pistol and Men's 50m Free Pistol.
In Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will take the stage after his recent silver medal victory at the ISSF World Cup Korea. Sanderson won the first Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol quota for the USA with that victory. Teammates Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pa.) and Emil Milev (Tampa, Fla.) will also be competing for the red, white and blue.
USA Shooting would like to extend an invite to fans, families and media to attend the ISSF World Cup USA. Check the schedule to watch your favorite event. To request a media interview with an athlete, please contact Katie Yergensen at katie.yergensen(at)usashooting(dot)org.