(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – May 24, 2019) – The Rifle and Pistol athletes of the USA Shooting Team are set for International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup competition in Munich, Germany starting Sunday and running through May 30. More than 920 athletes from 98 countries are expected to compete at this World Cup. USA Shooting is sending 28 athletes to compete in this event.
With three major events still remaining in 2019, it’s crunch time as the top Rifle/Pistol athletes in the world will not only vie for medals, but for valuable 2020 Olympic Games quotas. An Olympic quota is essentially a country’s ticket to participate in a specific event in the 2020 Olympic Games. Earning an Olympic quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes will earn Olympic Team slots via a trials system which can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/2FnccFI.
Of the 16 individual athlete quotas the United States would need to send a full team in the Rifle and Pistol events to the Olympic Games, U.S. athletes have earned three of a possible eight in Pistol and five of a possible eight in Rifle. The athletes for this World Cup were selected during the Spring Selection Match back in March.
The first two World Cups of the season in New Delhi, India and Beijing, China saw lots of close calls on Finals appearances for the USA Shooting Team and those athletes will look to build on those performances in pursuit of medals and quotas in the capital of Bavaria.
This World Cup Team includes five Olympians, nine athletes with military ties, and five athletes that haven’t yet seen their 20th birthday.
Highlighting the Men’s Rifle athletes participating is two-time Olympian and U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) standout Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin). Plenty of Army talent will be present alongside him including USAMU teammate Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) along with the inclusion of World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) competitors Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) and 2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana). Rounding out the men’s team is Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), 16-year-old Matt Sanchez (Tampa, Florida) and Jean-Pierre Lucas(Oxford, Mississippi).
Reigning Olympic gold medalist and recent college graduate Virginia Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) headlines the Women’s rifle athletes competing in Germany. Joining her will be Sarah Beard (WCAP/Danville, Indiana), Rosemary Kramer (Statesboro, Georgia), Alana Kelly (Acworth, Georgia), Rachel Martin (Peralta, New Mexico), Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas), Ali Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) and 16-year-old Katie Zaun (Buffalo, North Dakota).
Men’s Pistol athletes include 17-year-old Henry Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) who captured an Olympic quota in Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol last time out competing in the Beijing World Cup. Joining him will be his 19-year-old brother, Jackson, in that same event along with three-time Olympian Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) while Brian Kim (Los Angeles, California) competes for a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS). Air Pistol competitors will include Mowrer, in his continued double-discipline efforts, 17-year-old Hunter Battig (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Richard Gray (Fredericksburg, Virginia), and James Hall (Columbia, Missouri) who earned the lone quota thus far in the event.
Women’s Pistol athletes include Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada), who is the lone female pistol athlete to earn a quota thus far. She’ll compete in both pistol events as will her teammates Nathalia Probar (East Northport, New York) and Helen Oh (Walnut, California), who recently dominated the National Rifle Association’s Intercollegiate Pistol championships as part of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Miglena Todorova (Miranda, California) will compete in her second straight World Cup in Air Pistol, while 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) will take to the line in Women’s Sport Pistol.
Finals will be broadcast live on the ISSF website at https://www.issf-sports.org/ (Beijing is eight hours ahead of the U.S. Mountain Time Zone). View the schedule and follow along with live results: https://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/venue/schedule.ashx?cshipid=2545.