Final day at Pan American Games

The last day of the shooting events at the 2015 Pan American Games ended with the Men’s 3P final. Conditions were ideal with temperatures in the mid 20s with very little wind.

The eight making it through to the final of the Men’s 3P were Cristian Santacruz (ECU), Julio Iemma (VEN), Jose Sanchez (MEX), Bruno Heck (BRA), Luis Morales (MEX), Ryan Anderson (USA), George Norton (USA) and Reynier Estopinan (CUB).

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The format for the 3P final is the same as the previous day’s Women’s event: three strings of five shots in kneeling, another three strings of five shots in prone, and two strings of five shots in standing. At this point the two lowest scoring athletes leave the competition, with further eliminations after every single shot until the medalling positions are decided.

Cuba’s Estopinan held the Gold medal position with a kneeling 15 shot score of 154.3. He was followed by Brazil’s Heck on 150.9 and Morales from Mexico on 150.2. The athletes then began the seven minute change over for the prone position. The next three strings saw Estopinan surge further ahead to consolidate his lead. He ended this part of the final with 307.4, 3.9 points ahead of the Silver position held by Morales on 303.5, followed by Heck in the Bronze medal position a further 2.1 points back on 301.4. It was now time for the more unpredictable discipline of standing.

After the nine minutes of preparation time we were set for an exciting finish. In danger at this point was Cristian Santacruz in 8th spot with 289.7 and Julio Iemma in 7th on 291. These positions were unchanged after the next two strings and both shooters left the competition. With six athletes left we moved to the sudden death section with an elimination after each shot.

At this point Estopinan still held the Gold medal position on 401.4, a 2.2 point lead over jointly placed Norton and Morales on 399.2.

The next two shots saw Jose Sanchez exit in 6th place quickly followed by Bruno Heck who took 5th. Luis Morales then went out of the competition in 4th place, just 0.2 behind Bronze placed George Norton.

The crucial medal positions now had to be decided. Santacruz already held an Olympic quota place, so the USA’s Norton and Anderson secured the two remaining places for Rio next year. Santacruz had a commanding lead of 4.1 points over Anderson and 0.2 points further back was Norton in Bronze.

A 10.3 from Norton and a 9.5 from Anderson saw them switch positions and Ryan Anderson took the Bronze medal, leaving his team mate to take the final competition shot. Cuba’s Reynier Estopinan duly took the Gold medal with a final shot of 9.1 versus Norton’s 10.0: a 2.5 point victory over the American who took Silver.

In the Men’s 3P competition today an incredible 99% of competitors used ELEY ammunition. It was another all ELEY podium, with 15 from the 18 medals available at the 2015 Pan-American Games won with ELEY ammunition.