Michael McPhail and Matt Emmons got the United States off to a flying start Thursday, earning gold and bronze, respectively, in men’s prone rifle at the ISSF World Cup Final for rifle and pistol in Bologna, Italy.
McPhail won with a score of 209.1, 0.6 ahead of Denmark’s Torben Grimmel in a tight competition that saw the American trailing by 0.1 points entering the last head-to-head round of the final. That’s when McPhail posted scores of 10.9 and 10.3, while Grimmel could manage only 10.1 and 10.4, advancing McPhail to the top step of the podium. Emmons finished the final with a total of 187.2.
A two-time Olympian, McPhail repeats as the prone gold medalist at the World Cup Final, having won the competition in 2015 in Munich. A member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, he is a three-time Pan American Games medalist, taking gold in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and silver twice (Rio de Janeiro 2007 and Toronto 2015). The bronze medalist in the event at the 2014 world championships in Granada, Spain, he now has five gold medals in world cup competition, along with two silvers and four bronzes.
Emmons, who has earned a medal of each hue in men’s three-position rifle while competing at the past four Olympic Games, adds yet another medal to his impressive collection. At the World Cup Final alone, the six-time world champion has won six golds, five silvers and two bronzes, along with nine more golds, 12 silvers and 11 bronzes at a non-final world cup competition. This is his fourth World Cup Final medal in prone rifle. Though he did not medal at the Rio Olympics, Emmons won five world cup medals this year.
Competition continues in Bologna on Friday with men’s rapid fire pistol, where three-time Olympian Keith Sanderson will represent the U.S. Saturday will feature by women’s air rifle with Olympic and NCAA champion Ginny Thrasher. Emmons will return to the firing line on Sunday in the men’s three-position rifle, while Sarah Beard will compete in her first World Cup Final in the women’s three-position.