Somebody from Team USA was going to clinch an Olympic quota spot for the nation. It was just a matter of who would get the bragging rights.
Dempster Christenson and Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky vied for the men’s 10-meter air rifle title Sunday at Championship of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico, with Christenson coming out on top 248.5-246.7. The Championship of the Americas serves as one of 11 possible competitions in which Olympic quota spots are available. By winning the event, Christenson clinched one of those for Team USA.
Olympic quota spots determine in which events a nation sends athletes to the Games, and how many in each event. Exactly which athletes those will be, however, will be decided by USA Shooting’s Olympic trial process at a later date.
Christenson, 28, previously earned a 2016 Olympic quota spot for Team USA by winning the air rifle competition at the 2014 Championship of the Americas.
Team USA nearly earned a quota spot earlier in the day in women’s 10-meter air pistol. Canada’s Lynda Kiejko narrowly edged out Alexis Lagan, 235.2-234.2.
More quota spots will be on the line each day of the Championship of the Americas, which concludes on Nov. 11.