Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) July 04, 2011
In patriotic fashion, USA Shooting is honored to announce that 1996 Olympian Sergeant First Class Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) has qualified for a nomination to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee. Upon approval, Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft will compete in his specialty event-Men's 50m Rifle Prone. Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft is a member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit stationed in Fort Benning, Ga. As a proud soldier and American, Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft will compete in his second Olympic Games with his sights set on gold. Following the 2008 Olympic Games, USA Shooting adopted a point selection procedure for athletes to gain an Olympic nomination. Points are awarded based on competition performance at International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cups and World Championships.
Uptagrafft has been a dominating force in Men's 50m Rifle Prone for the past two seasons. He began 2010 with a sixth place finish at the first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Sydney, Australia. Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft scored 594 match points and 103.1 points in the final for a total of 697.1 points. At the second leg of World Cup competition in Beijing, China, he climbed onto the podium with 598 match points and 103.2 points in the final for the bronze medal. Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft continued to solidify his top-three world ranking with a silver medal at his home range during the ISSF World Cup USA. In the presence of U.S. Army dignitaries, Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft's hold didn't falter as he shot 597 match points and the highest final of 105.8 points for the silver medal. At the 2010 ISSF World Shooting Championships in Munich, Germany, he placed seventh overall with 598 match points and 102.3 points in the final for a total of 700.3 points.
Maintaining his momentum, Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft was on target at the first ISSF World Cup of 2011 in Sydney, Australia. He shot 599 match points and 104.2 points in the final for a total of 703.2 points. Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft's performance earned him a silver medal and an Olympic participation quota for Team USA in London 2012. Shortly thereafter, he followed up that performance with yet another silver medal at the ISSF World Cup Changwon. Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft shot 699.6 total points (596+103.6) to break the U.S. Olympic selection point threshold. In his most recent match at the ISSF World Cup USA, he finished fifth overall with 598 match points and 101.9 points in the final for 699.9 total points.
National Rifle Coach Major Dave Johnson said, "Eric is one of our most experienced international athletes. This benefited him in his pursuit of the point system slot for the U.S. Olympic Team. He's had an outstanding year and has earned the slot and the respect of his competitors worldwide. I expect to see him on the podium in London."
Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft said, "It is the realization of a dream to compete in the Olympics again. I've learned a lot since Atlanta and look forward to the challenge. I'd like to thank the U.S. Army, the USAMU, and USA Shooting for helping me reach my intermediate goal of making the team and for helping me prepare for next summer." USA Shooting would like to congratulate Sgt. 1st Class Uptagrafft and wish him success in his training for London 2012.
ELEY is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world's most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000. For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit http://www.eley.co.uk.
About USA Shooting
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at http://www.usashooting.org and Facebook.