Three more athletes added to Team USA

April 2-4, 2016 were some of the most difficult days for those athletes competing to win a slot on the 2016 USA Olympic Shooting Team in the 50 meter events. The USA Olympic trials is one of the toughest matches for many athletes, but for three athletes the completion of the match has made the first step of winning an Olympic medal possible.

USA Shooting secured five 50 meter quota slots for the 2016 Olympic Games and all these slots are now filled with athletes. Mike McPhail earned one of these coveted slots in men’s prone early in the process by gaining enough qualification points through World Cup performance, therefore he did not have to compete in the Olympic Trials. Matt Emmons has secured a slot in the men’s 50m 3 position event where the USA has only one quota place. One more prone slot was available as well as one slot in each men’s 50m pistol and women’s 50m 3 position rifle.

Matt Emmons, the favorite in the men’s prone event, led through the second day of competition entering the final day with an 11.3 point lead over David Higgins. Higgins had the highest qualification score on the final competition day of 629.5 and won the final to finish the tryout with a total score of 1896.9. Emmons finished the last day of competition with a 616.8, which was not good enough to make the final. Higgins won the competition by 9.4 points and will be representing the United States in Rio on his first Olympic Team. Emmons finished in second place and off the USA men’s prone Olympic Team.

David Higgins with coach Mike Anti after making the Prone Olympic Team David Higgins with coach Mike Anti after making the Prone Olympic Team

The men’s 50m pistol event was dominated by Jay Shi where he led the match from the beginning. Shi finished the third day with a 565, which was also the highest score of the entire tryout. Jay Shi will represent the USA in his first Olympic Games in Rio. Will Brown was the runner-up, 26 points behind Shi.

Jay Shi - Men's 50 meter pistol USA Olympic Team Member Jay Shi - Men's 50 meter pistol USA Olympic Team Member

Virginia Thrasher, a freshman at West Virginia University, has continued her recent major successes by winning Olympic Trials in the women’s 3 position event by 9 points over Sarah Scherer. Thrasher has been showing the shooting world she is ready to compete with the best as she just came off a pair of individual titles at the NCAA Rifle Championships as well as helping her team win the NCAA Team Championship.

Virginia Thrasher, USA Olympic Team Member,  shooting the final in the Women's 3p Olympic Trials Virginia Thrasher, USA Olympic Team Member, shooting the final in the Women's 3p Olympic Trials

The USA Shooting Team has completed their 50 meter Olympic Team. The 25 meter events are taking place April 6-8 where there is one spot available in each men’s rapid fire pistol and women’s 25 meter pistol. Keith Sanderson has already secured an Olympic spot in the men’s rapid fire pistol event leaving one spot available for athletes to compete to secure. Athletes will have another chance at making the Olympic Team at the 10 meter air events where the last trial will be held June 3-5, 2016. After the air rifle trials, the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol team will be complete.

ELEY is proud to be the USA Shooting .22 ammo sponsor and wish these athletes success in their journey to the Olympic podium.