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Rifl e/Pistol World Cup Finals

Milev Wins First World Cup Finals Title; Gray Returns to Competition

Emil Milev kicked off the fi rst

day of competition at the ISSF World Cup Finals for Rifl e and Pistol in Munich, Germany in the best way possible for the United States – by picking up his fi rst World Cup Finals title in the Rap- id Fire Pistol event. Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.,

pictured center), shooting against the top-10 competitors in the world in this event, quali- fi ed for the fi nal in the last, sixth position by shooting a 575 in qualifi cation. No matter - with the new rules for fi nals by the ISSF in place, all fi nals competi- tors enter the fi nals match on equal footing. After the fi rst competition

stage of fi nals, Milev was tied for third with 10 hits. In the second competition stage however, Milev moved to the top of the pack shooting a 4-5-5-4 in the sub- sequent four, fi ve-shot series. He later sealed his win with a per- fect fi ve hits on the fi nal series. His win is just one hit behind the world record. “I was focused on executing

one string at a time,” Milev said. Somewhere in the middle, I felt my shots going in the “zone” and I looked at the ranking. Christian Reitz was leading and I was three hits behind. I started chasing him. About a month ago, we had a training camp together, and we shot a lot of fi nals and other drills so I imagined this fi nal was another head-to-head drill and I think it worked.” World Cup Final title defender Martin Strnad of the Czech Re-

and moved to third place in the prone stage. Once in the Stand- ing stage, Gray fell to sixth place and was eliminated on her fi rst elimination-stage shot. Gray won gold at the 2010

World Cup Finals in Munich and bronze at the 2009 World Cup Finals in Wuxi, China in Women’s Three-Position Rifl e. Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho)

Emil Milev wins his fi rst World Cup Finals title in Munich, Germany. Photo by: Marco Dalla Dea/ISSF

public took silver and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Reitz of Germany took bronze in the event. At the conclusion of the World

Cup series each year, the best eight athletes in each event with the highest qualifi cation values qualifi ed for the ISSF World Cup Final. Qualifi cation points are earned through ranking and in relation to the score(s) shot by the athlete at each World Cup. Additional “wild card” slots are also awarded to title defenders and Olympic Games medalists of the previous year. Milev, a fi ve-time Olympian,

picked up his 15th career World Cup medal with a bronze-medal fi nish at World Cup Granada in the Rapid Fire Pistol event. The points earned from his bronze medal in addition to his fi rst- place fi nish in qualifi cation as- sured him a spot in these World

Cup Finals. Milev’s U.S. teammate Keith

Sanderson (Kailua, Hawaii) fi n- ished in eighth place, shooting a 566 in qualifi cation. Jamie Beyerle Gray just jumped

into the deep end of the compe- tition pool. The Women’s Three-Position

Rifl e Olympic Champion, who has been recovering since the 2012 Olympics from a back injury, made her return to com- petition at the ISSF World Cup Finals. Facing 10 of the best competitors in the world in her fi rst competition since the Olym- pics, Gray was able to secure a position in the fi nals and fi nish in sixth place. Gray (Lebanon, Pa.) qualifi ed

for the fi nal in the eighth posi- tion with 578 points. Once in the fi nals where all competitors start from zero, Gray was tied for fi rst after the kneeling stage

Year in Review 2013 | USA Shooting News 71

competed in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol event. Brown secured his spot in the fi nal by shooting a 576 in qualifi cation, putting him in the sixth position. In the fi nal, Brown was eliminated in the fourth series of the elimination stage. Brown secured his berth in

this World Cup Finals with points earned from his gold-medal win in at World Cup USA in Fort Ben- ning, Ga. Last to compete for the U.S.

team at this World Cup Finals was 2012 Olympian Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wis./US- AMU) in the Prone Rifl e event. McPhail, a bronze medalist in Three-Position Rifl e at this year’s National Championships, earned his berth with qualifi ca- tion points earned from a silver medal win at the World Cup in Changwon, Korea and a seventh- place fi nish at World Cup USA. McPhail placed seventh overall.

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