FORT BENNING, Ga. (Army News Service, May 3, 2006) - A Soldier of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit has won a Gold Medal and an Olympic Quota Slot at the Brazil World Cup.<br/><br/>USAMU international rifle shooter Sgt. 1st Class Thomas A. Tamas beat 49 of the world's best rifle shooters and won the Gold Medal in the Free Rifle Prone competition at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in Resende, Brazil, May 2. Tamas also won an Olympic Quota Slot for the USA for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.<br/><br/>Tamas was in second place going into the finals with a score of 595 points out of a possible 600 just behind Guy Starik of Israel and Artem Khadjibekov of Russia, who both had a 596.<br/><br/>Tamas shot a 102.9 out of a possible 109 in the finals and ended up with a total score of 697.9 and the win. The Soldier finished just 2/10ths of a point ahead of Starik, who got the Silver Medal with a 697.7. Khadjibekov took the Bronze Medal with a 697.4 after scoring a 10.2 in a shoot-off with Torben Grimmel of Denmark, who shot a 9.8.<br/><br/>Tamas, a native of Columbus, Ga., graduated from Kendrick High School in 1983 and started shooting in 1978 with the Fort Benning Junior Rifle Team. He is a two-time Olympian as well as a World Champion and World Record holder with a perfect score of 600, which he shot when winning the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, in 1998.<br/><br/>Joining the Army in 1986, Tamas was assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit after he completed Basic and Infantry Training at Fort Benning. He served with the Army Marksmanship Unit for seven years before being assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, in Korea in 1992. After his overseas tour, Tamas returned to Fort Benning and Marksmanship Unit in 1993.<br/><br/>Tamas was selected as the 1999 USA Shooting International Rifle Shooter of the Year, as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee Shooter of the Year. USA Shooting is the national governing body for Olympic shooting sports in the U.S. In 1992, Tamas did not get to compete in the Olympics because he was an alternate, and in 2000 he placed 13th in Prone Rifle at the Olympics in Sydney, Australia.<br/><br/>(Editor's note: Paula J. Randall PagAffA,A!n writes for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Accessions Support Brigade, Public Affairs Office.)

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