Derek Haldeman and Brian Burrows celebrating after earning two quota spots for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on July 30, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
LIMA, PERU – In the ultimate test of accuracy under pressure, both Brian Burrows and Derek Haldeman of the U.S. shooting team proved they had the training and confidence to perform.
Burrows and Haldeman won gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s trap shooting final at the Pan American Games Lima 2019.
Burrows and Haldeman also earned quota spots for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with their performances. The United States hasn’t sent an athlete, let alone two, to the Olympic Games for men's trap shooting since 2008.
Burrows and Haldeman both started hot, each hitting nine of their first ten targets. This hot start led to a lull, as both had subsequent rounds where they let two targets drop without hitting. When the eliminations began after the fifth round, however, they picked up right back where they started.
“It all goes back to the training,” Burrows said. “They put the confidence into us. We came into this knowing we had the ability to perform well. I can’t say enough about what the coaches have done for us.”
While Haldeman was good, Burrows was better. Haldeman missed two targets in the deciding 10th round. Burrows, who had hit his previous seven consecutive targets, just kept on striking. He hit every target in the final round to secure the gold. His total score of 43 targets hit set a Pan American Games record.
“I can’t put the feeling into words,” Burrows said. “It was indescribable. To do that, on that stage, for my country, and to do it with Derek. And we earned our (Olympic Games 2020 Tokyo) quotas. Just amazing.”