Austen Smith competes in the skeet women's qualification during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on July 26, 2021 in Asaka, Saitama, Japan.
U.S. shotgun shooters are off to a great start in their world cup season as the team earned seven medals at the first shotgun stage of 2022 in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Team USA was especially strong in the team events, bringing home silver medals in women’s team trap, men’s and women’s team skeet and silver and bronze medals in mixed team skeet. In individual events, Rachel Tozier won bronze in women’s trap and Austen Smith won bronze in women’s skeet. The seven total medals were the most of any other nation.
Starting off the medal haul for the U.S. was Tozier, a two-time silver medalist at the Pan American Games. She advanced to the medal match and finished with a total of 19, behind Silvana Stanco of Italy with 28 and winner Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova with 31. Tozier then joined Aeriel Skinner and Ida Brown for the women’s trap team event. They advanced to the gold-medal game before falling to Australia 6-4.
Smith, who made her Olympic debut last summer in Tokyo, picked up the third world cup medal of her career with her bronze-medal performance. Smith also has gold and bronze medals won on last year’s world cup circuit. Smith would then join up with Phillip Jungman in the mixed team event and pick up another medal, a bronze. Four-time world champion Caitlin Connor teamed with Adam McBee to win a silver medal, falling in the gold-medal match to Italy.
The last day of the competition was a dual medal day for the U.S. as both the men’s and women’s skeet teams made the gold-medal match. The women’s team of Smith, Connor and Dania Jo Vizzi fell to Italy, 7-3, while the men’s team of Jungman, McBee and Hayden Stewart lost 6-4, also to the Italians. Italy’s three gold medals were the most in the competition.
U.S. shotgun shooters will be in action again starting March 27-April 7 in Lima, Peru.