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Olympic Quota Update

By Kevin Neuendorf Director of Media & Public Relations

Winning The Quotas: Where We Currently Stand

Olympic quota mining

isn’t for the faint of heart, particularly in the early go- ing of 2015 for USA Shoot- ing’s shotgun athletes. Since February, the 15 ath- letes that have comprised USA Shooting’s World Cup travel roster will have gone through a pre-season train- ing camp in Puerto Rico, three World Cup events and battled through the Spring Selection Match in Fort Ben- ning, Georgia. All that adds up to roughly 54,000 airline miles, 43 days away from home, and a fi ght to main- tain that mental edge. “I think this year has been the most demanding in terms of competitions that I have ever had,” said Trap team member Jake Wallace. “One of the most important parts of maintaining a high level of mental toughness is the ability to rest and take advantage of off time. That hasn’t really been possible since February, nor is it look- ing too good in the months to come. You go into survival mode, which isn’t the ideal way to go into tough compe- tition. It’s a challenge, but the payoff is huge when you get through it.” The grind is for two pur-

poses in 2015: earning country quotas to ensure Olympic participation as a team; and/or individu- ally earning Olympic points needed for automatic Olym-

Caitlin Connor, Photo by: ISSF

pic selection based on per- formance. A quota spot is essentially the entry ticket necessary for a country to compete in Olympic compe- tition in a particular disci- pline. USA Shooting athletes winning Olympic quotas will still have to earn the right to compete separately. To date, U.S. shotgun

athletes have earned six of the 10 quotas available having earned one quota in Women’s Trap, one in Men’s Skeet, as well as the maximum of two per event in Men’s Double Trap and Women’s Skeet. The U.S. has yet to earn a quota in Men’s Trap. Just three op- portunities remain for quo- tas to be earned including Pan American Games (July 9-20), World Cup Azerbaijan (August 6-16 ) and the World Championships for Shotgun (September 9-18). For more in-depth coverage of the World Cups for Shotgun, see page 18.

36 USA Shooting News | May 2015 The World Cup season

is just getting underway in Rifl e/Pistol with just one (Changwon) completed (as of this printing), which proved ultra-successful for three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons. He picked up the Olympic quota in Prone Rifl e with a win. Since no one individual can earn two Olympic quotas, he couldn’t earn the U.S. a quota in Three-Position despite his second-place fi nish. The U.S. has also earned quo- tas in Men’s Air Rifl e and Men’s Air Pistol, dating back to wins by Dempster Chris- tenson and Will Brown at the 2014 Championship of the Americas. Quotas are available at each of the next three World Cups and Pan American Games. For a full recap on World Cup Chang- won, see page 22. Provided the mandatory

two quotas have been se- cured, athletes can qualify for the Olympic Games through individual points

based on World Cup and World Championship perfor- mances in 2015. That points race has begun to identify it- self particularly in Women’s Skeet and Men’s Double Trap. With three World Cup fi nishes inside the top-10 in- cluding silver, fi fth and 10th, Caitlin Connor has emerged as the points leader with 19 points. Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode trails by two having picked up one win in Acapulco, while Mor- gan Craft sits at 15 points with two appearances inside the top-six including her fi rst World Cup medal (bronze) in Larnaca, Cyprus.

Derek Haldeman and

Jeff Holguin are tied with 17 points apiece. Holguin got all his points with a win in Acapulco while Haldeman earned his from two fi nals appearances including a third in Acapulco. Haldeman, however, holds the edge over Holguin the remainder of the season as he’ll com- pete in Azerbaijan and World Championships, whereas Holguin did not earn his spot through the Selection Match process. To review the Athlete Se- lection Procedures for the 2016 Olympic Games, check them out under the Policies and Procedures section within the RESOURCES tab of USA Shooting’s website,

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