Virginia Thrasher celebrates winning the bronze medal in the women's 50-meter rifle 3 positions at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 on July 28, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
After two days of shooting, Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher is right where she needs to be in order to have the chance to defend her title in Tokyo in 2020.
USA Shooting is holding its 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore in Fort Benning, Georgia, where the 22-year-old from Springfield, Virginia, holds a three-point lead in women’s three-position rifle over Rachel Garner (2,345 to 2,342).
Following the first of the two-part Olympic trials, Garner is on target to make her Olympic debut as the U.S. has two Olympic quota spots in three-position rifle.
Mary Tucker currently sits in third place with 2,338 points and Sagen Maddalena is just a point behind in fourth place.
Thrasher, who won the first gold medal of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, earned one of the two Olympic quota spots the U.S. holds when she claimed bronze at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 in August.
Her 2016 Olympic gold medal came in air rifle, which she would also be able to enter in Tokyo if she makes the team for three-position rifle, provided she has the minimum qualification score for that event.
Alexis Lagan is also on track to make her first Olympic team with a first-place finish in women’s sport pistol. The 26-year-old from Boulder City, Nevada, totaled 1,164 points over the two days and leads 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft in second place with 1,155 points. Ada Korkhin is in third place with 1,140 points and Nathalia Tobar is in fourth with 1,138 points.
In 2018, Lagan won her first international medal – air pistol silver at the Championship of the Americas – and shortly after had her first win at that same event in Guadalajara, Mexico, which clinched an Olympic quota spot for the country—one she may herself fill—in women’s sport pistol.
The U.S. holds two quota spots in sport pistol, putting Uptagrafft in a strong position to claim the second. Fittingly, she secured that one for the U.S. when she won gold at the Pan Am Games.
Both Thrasher and Lagan led following day one as well as after day two.
The scores from this week’s competition will be added to scores from part two of the trials, which will take place in March 2020 to determine who will travel to Tokyo as members of Team USA.