More than 350 competitors from 52 nations converged at Fort Benning May 22-31 to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup USA at Pool and Phillips ranges. The Cup is the third of four rifle and pistol World Cups held every year around the world.

"There is no one (at the World Cup) that will win a medal without a world-class performance - this is the best of the best," said Bob Mitchell, executive director and chief executive officer of USA Shooting.

Shooters competed in 10 pistol and rifle matches. China won the most medals (10) followed by the U.S. with six medals and Russia with five.

U.S. shooters Matthew Emmons, Jamie Beyerle, and U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's Daryl Szarenski, Eric Uptagrafft and Jason Parker took home two golds, three silvers and one bronze.

LTC Daniel Hodne, commander of USAMU, said he is proud of the U.S. shooters for what they accomplished.

"We have guys who can support and train the warfighter and they can come back and showcase the best of Army Soldier skills and compete and earn medals at a world class level," he said.

Parker got back two months ago from a deployment to Afghanistan. He earned silver in the 50-meter rifle three-position division with a score of 1,274.2.

"It feels good to come back from a deployment, compete and represent the Army, USAMU and my country," Parker said.

U.S. Shooter Emmons topped Parker's score with 1,276.6 for first place, while Italy's Niccolo Campriani took third with 1,272.5.

Parker said China was the biggest competition overall.

"I knew the biggest competition would be China because they have been doing well over the past few years and they are tough (to beat)," Parker said.

Beyerle, who is a civilian who trains at USAMU and is a 2008 Olympian, managed to defeat China's Wu Liuxi for the gold in the 50m three-position rifle women's finals with a score of 687.7. Beyerle said she focused on taking one shot at a time.

"It's the best I have shot in the World Cup," she said. "I have been sick the past two weeks. I have a sinus infection so the balance in my head is messed up. It's always a lot tougher (when you are sick), but I made it happen."

Shooters can't always have good days, said Germany's Marcel Goelden, who made it to the second qualifying round in the 25m rapid-fire pistol men's category, but was shy nine spots from making it to the finals. Goelden took 15th.

"I am used to shooting in cold weather so this is a big change," he said. "Today, I had bad luck. Maybe another guy had good luck. Hopefully it will change."
Goelden said even though he didn't make it to the finals, he was still excited to be competing in the U.S. It was his first time in the states.

Jim Sandall of Canada competed in the second qualifier for the 25m rapid-fire pistol men's division, but didn't make it to the finals. Sandall said he looks at it as a learning experience.
The next World Cup rifle and pistol championship is slated for June 26 to July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16