Colorado Springs, Colorado– For the first time in history, USA Shooting will host the Air Pistol National Junior Olympics (NJOSC) at the Hotel Elegante Range in Colorado Springs from June 16-20, 2021. The nation’s top air pistol shooters will stand side-by-side and compete for the coveted National Junior Olympic Champion title and a spot on the USA Shooting National Junior Team.
Traditionally held at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center (OPTC), this year’s Air Pistol JOs will take place at the Hotel Elegante Range located in the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs, Colorado just two miles east of the OPTC.
“I’m very excited for this year’s Junior Olympics because it’s the first time I’ve seen this group of athletes in over a year and a half,” said National Pistol Coach, Jason Turner. “I’m looking forward to seeing how people progressed during the COVID-19 lockdown and looking for some good scores throughout the week. Not to mention, we have Junior Pan Am and Junior World Championship Team spots up for grabs based on this competition.”
In order to gain an invite to the National Junior Olympics, competitors had to compete at the state-level where they had to shoot well enough to meet this year’s cut-off scores, most of them champions in their respective state. Out of the 211 total state competitors, only 165 total received an invite. Competitors hail from 30 states, with the largest number of athletes coming from Bridge Jr Team in La Puente, California. J2 is the largest age category of invitees across men and women with ages ranging from 15-17 years old. The youngest athletes include Women’s Air Pistol, Dot Veatch(Agate, CO) and Men’s Air Pistol, Mark Shen (Atherton, CA). Also attending Air Pistol NJOSC are Olympic Alternates, Hunter Battig (Colorado Springs, CO) who scored the highest men’s qualifying score of 575 and Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, GA) who shot the highest women’s qualifying score of 562.
When the OPTC imposed COVID-related restrictions during the height of the pandemic, USA Shooting and USA Boxing, with the help of Hotel Elegante, set-up remote training locations inside the Citadel Mall where National Team Athletes could continue to train on their road to Tokyo. During this year’s Junior Olympics, athletes will have the opportunity to shoot next to nominated Tokyo Olympians inside the Hotel Elegante range.
Full match program and daily results for Air Pistol NJOSC can be found on the USA Shooting website (https://www.usashooting.org/7-events/njosc)
Follow along for competition updates on the USA Shooting website (usashooting.org/news), Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and be sure to tune in on Sunday June 20th as we “live tweet” the finals competition.
About USA Shooting
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. The organization implements and manages development programs and sanctions events at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, USA Shooting has a full-time staff dedicated to furthering the sport and supporting athletes and members of the organization. The organization has a USA Shooting News magazine publication, as well as public and member specific web sites.