FORT BENNING, Ga. (Army News Service, March 7, 2007) - The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit will host the International Shooting Sport Federation Rifle and Pistol World Cup USA March 31 to April 7.

The ISSF World Cup USA will be conducted at the USAMU ranges off Dixie Road by USA Shooting, the national governing body for Olympic shooting sports.

More than 60 countries with more than 500 shooters are expected to compete in these international events, and hundreds of the competitors are expected to be Olympians.

"This is the largest turnout we have ever experienced for the World Cup USA," said Wanda Jewell, director of operations for USA Shooting and 1984 Olympic bronze medalist in rifle. "It will be a great competition field for our athletes. The biggest push will be for Olympic quota positions with m ore countries seeking to secure their place on the firing line for the 2008 Olympic Games."

Every year, qualified shooters of each of the Olympic shooting disciplines participate in four World Cups. Not only can shooters win medals and set world records at these World Cups, but they can also win quota slots for their countries to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

World Cups for 2007 are: Shotgun World Cup, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, March 18 to 29; Rifle and Pistol World Cup, Fort Benning, Ga., March 31 to April 8; Shotgun World Cup, Changwon, Korea, April 13 to 24; Rifle and Pistol World Cup, Sydney, Australia, April 25 to May 3; Rifle and Pistol World Cup, Bangkok, Thailand, May 3 to 11; Rifle and Pistol World Cup, Munich, Germany, May 28 to June 4; Shotgun World Cup, Lonato, Italy, June 6 to 15; and Shotgun World Cup, Maribor, Slovenia, June 26 to July 7.

To date, the U.S. has earned 17 of a possible 28 Olympic quote slots.

For more information on the World Cup, call the USAMU Public Affairs Office at (706) 545-5436 or e-mail paula.pagan@usaac.army.mil.

(Paula J. Randall writes for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Accessions Support Brigade.)

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