London 2012 Olympic Games One-Year Out Preview

Shooting

 
2012 Preview
As the London 2012 Olympic Games approach, USA Shooting’s athletes have been putting up podium-worthy performances the past two years. As a result, five athletes – Kim Rhode, Matt Emmons, Jamie Beyerle, Eric Uptagrafft and Josh Richmond – have already been nominated to the 2012 Olympic Team.
 
Selection criteria for the shooting team for the 2012 Olympic Games is based on a points system that allows athletes to earn a slot on the U.S. Olympic Team by competing at winning levels in 2010 and 2011. This is also an integral part of USA Shooting making absolute certain the best competitors make the U.S. Olympic Team. One final hurdle (and point-winning opportunity) remains for shotgun athletes: the 2011 International Shooting Sport Federation World Clay Target Championships. Like last year’s world championships, the points carry even more weight on this prestigious world stage. Several athletes have the opportunity to clinch a nomination with a gold or silver performance.
 
The rest of the spots for the 2012 Olympic Team will be determined through a traditional U.S. Olympic Trials method. USA Shooting will host two-part trials (for shotgun and air gun only), with the future Olympians selected based on aggregate totals and one final. Smallbore Olympians will be identified at the 2012 USA Shooting National Championships in Fort Benning, Ga. 
 
Storylines
  • Five in Five - Can She Do It? Kim Rhode is no stranger to success. The four-time Olympic medalist is chasing Olympic history. Not only did she nearly double the requisite number of U.S. Olympic selection points, but she was the first American nominated to the 2012 team. If she wins a medal in London, she will become the first American Olympian from an individual sport to accomplish this feat. Originally a women’s double trap shooter, Rhode proved her versatility as she switched to women’s skeet when double trap was removed as a women’s event after the 2004 Games in Athens. Rhodes won a silver medal in women’s skeet in 2008 in Beijing. With five international medals (three gold and two silver) in the past two years, it’s no wonder Rhode is the No. 1-ranked women’s skeet shooter in the world and a clear candidate for the top of the podium in London.
  • Beyerle Rules Three Position: Jamie Beyerle was a 2008 Olympian, thus she’s aware of the pressure and demanding nature of Olympic competition. Not only did she qualify for a nomination to London, but she is also the No. 1-ranked women’s 50m rifle three position shooter in the world. And for good reason too – Beyerle has won four international medals in the past two years. Not only are her performances consistent, but she is also solidified her reputation as a strong finals shooter. At the 2011 ISSF World Cup USA, Beyerle astounded the crowd as she nailed a 10.8 point final shot to jump from fourth place to the gold medal.
  • Dual Representation - Soldiers & Athletes: Both Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft and Staff Sgt. Josh Richmond have not only qualified for a nomination to the London 2012 Olympic Games, but both will be serving their country as part of the U.S. Army prior to flying across the pond. Uptagrafft is currently in Afghanistan and Richmond will also be deployed this fall. In addition to consistently performing at a world-class level, these soldiers are also members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Ga. Uptagrafft is scheduled to compete in the men’s 50m rifle prone event and Richmond will be shooting in men’s double trap.  
  • Emmons Back for Round Three: Two-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons is back on the range and podium after recovering from thyroid cancer in late 2010. Despite having his entire thyroid removed, Emmons secured a medal at the 2011 ISSF World Cup in Sydney, Australia. As one of the top men’s 50m rifle three position athletes in the world, he is a triple threat as he also shoots men’s 10m air rifle and men’s 50m rifle prone. If the USA is unable to secure a second quota for men’s 50m rifle prone, Emmons is eligible to shoot in the event for the American team. Emmons and his wife, Katerina Emmons (Czech Republic), are busy training for 2012. Katerina secured an Olympic quota place at the ISSF World Cup Munich for women’s 10m air rifle. 
  • Rapidly Gaining Attention: The men’s rapid fire duo of Keith Sanderson (2008 Olympian) and Emil Milev (Olympic medalist) is on target for 2012. Though neither has qualified for an Olympic nomination, both helped the U.S. secure 2012 Olympic quotas through the Changwon and Munich World Cups this year. This feat represents the first time in decades that the United States has won two quotas in men’s rapid fire pistol. In perhaps the smallest depth of field, Sanderson and Milev are stand-out athletes to watch in June 2012 as the individuals are selected who will represent the USA.
Key Athletes
  • Kim Rhode (Women’s Skeet)
  • Josh Richmond (Men’s Double Trap)
  • Jamie Beyerle (Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position)
  • Matt Emmons (Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position)
  • Eric Uptagrafft (Men’s 50m Rifle Prone)
  • Sarah Scherer (Women’s 10m Air Rifle)
  • Meghann K. Morrill (Women’s 10m Air Rifle)
  • Rachael Heiden (Women’s Trap)
  • Daryl Szarenski (Men’s 10m Air and 50m Free Pistol)
  • Emil Milev (Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol)
  • Keith Sanderson (Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol)
  • Vincent Hancock (Men’s Skeet)
  • Jon Michael McGrath (Men’s Skeet)
Selection Procedures
Only athletes who have attained the Minimum Qualifying Score in each event for which they qualify can be entered in one or more events in the Olympic Games. If the athlete does not have a MQS in each event for which they have qualified at the conclusion of the selection process, the athlete will be provided an opportunity to get the MQS if there is a qualifying match scheduled after the selection process. Maximum Olympic Team size is 28 athletes; actual size is dependent on the total number of quota positions won by the U.S. The possible quota positions are broken down as follows:
 
Men
2 - Smallbore Free Rifle Prone
2 - Smallbore Free Rifle 3x40
2 - Air Rifle
2 - Free Pistol
2 - Rapid Fire Pistol
2 - Air Pistol
2 - Skeet
2 - Trap
2 - Double Trap
 
Women
2 - Air Pistol
2 - Sport Pistol
2 - Air Rifle
2 - Sport Rifle 3x20
1 - Trap
1 - Skeet
 
USA Shooting Team athletes will be selected in two manners: a point system and a match selection conducted in 2012. The point system consists of each athlete obtaining points in designated competitions starting in 2010 and going throughout the 2011 competitive year. Any ties in the points earned will be broken with a final round between competitors. The selection competitions will be held in 2011 and 2012 and will consist of an aggregate of scores.
 
Shotgun
  • Dates and world-cup events are subject to ISSF scheduling. World-cup events used in the selection process will be published upon notification by ISSF of the yearly schedule on USA Shooting’s website.
  • Fall Selection Match 2011
  • Spring Selection Match 2012
  • The course of fire at each match consists of 250 targets in the trap and skeet events and 300 targets in the double trap event at each selection competition.
  • Match dates and details will be published on the USA Shooting website 45 days prior to the first day of competition.
  • If only one quota in an Olympic event is earned by the USA, that slot will be first awarded to the high point earner meeting the minimum point threshold. If no athlete meets the minimum point threshold, the slot will be awarded to the highest aggregate point total of two selection matches and an official final prior to the 2012 Olympic Games – a 2011 Fall Selection match and 2012 Spring Selection Match. 
  • If two quotas in an Olympic event are earned by the USA, both slots will be available for the two high point earners (provided each has met the threshold for his/her discipline). If there is only one high point earner, then a Selection Match prior to the 2012 Olympic Games will take place to determine a second athlete.
Rifle and Pistol
  • Dates and world-cup events are subject to ISSF scheduling. World-cup events used in the selection process will be published upon notification by ISSF of the yearly schedule on USA Shooting’s website.
  • If only one quota in an Olympic event is earned by the USA, that slot will be first awarded to the high point earner meeting the minimum point threshold. If no athlete meets the minimum point threshold, the slot will be awarded to the Olympic Team Selection Match winner in 2012.
  • Airgun selection will consist of two selection competitions with two courses of fire each and a final after each course of fire. The Olympic Team selection will be based on the aggregate of four courses of fire and two best finals. 
  • Smallbore selection will consist of one selection competition with three courses of fire and a final after each course of fire. The Olympic Team selection will be based on the aggregate of the three courses of fire and the two best finals. 
Key Dates
  • Sept. 22-Oct. 2, 2011: First Leg of U.S. Olympic Trials for Shotgun – Kerrville, Texas
  • Dec. 1-4, 2011: First Leg of U.S. Olympic Trials for Airgun – Anniston, Ala.
  • Feb. 23-26, 2012: Second Leg of U.S. Olympic Trials for Airgun – Camp Perry, Ohio
  • May 12-23, 2012: Second Leg of U.S. Olympic Trials for Shotgun – Tucson, Ariz.
  • June 2-12, 2012: U.S. Olympic Trials for Smallbore (Rifle & Pistol) – Fort Benning, Ga.
Communications Contact
Katie Yergensen
719.866.4896