Getting to the Gold 2008

August 2008

North Korean Stripped of Medals, USA's Turner Awarded Bronze

The Associated Press reports that Jong Su Kim of North Korea, who won the silver medal in free pistol and a bronze in air pistol, has tested positive for a banned substance and was stripped of his medals. That means USA shooter Jason Turner is now the bronze medalist in air pistol. Turner had fired a 682 to finish behind Kim.

In free pistol, China's Zongliang Tan was awarded the silver and Russia's Vladimir Isakov moved up to bronze.

Kim tested positive for popanolol, a betablocker that helps calm nerves and can help steady hold.

Sanderson in Third on Day One of Rapid Fire

Keith Sanderson of San Antonio, TX, was in third place at the conclusion of the first day of rapid-fire pistol. Sanderson, the lone U.S. entrant in the event, fired scores of 94, 98 and 97 out of a possible 100 to tally a 589—placing him two points behind leader Leonid Ekimov of Russia.

Click on specific events below for the most up-to-date results from Beijing.

Making the U.S. Olympic shooting team is no one-and-done deal. Obviously you have to be very, very good to earn a berth, but it's a heavily vetted process as well.

For starters, countries have to earn slots in each event simply to enter athletes in that event. These country slots can be won at high-level international matches conducted throughout the year (World Cups, World Championships, Pan American Games, etc.), and in order to earn a slot, a competitor for a given country has to place in the top three in one of these events.

Athletes also have to be individually qualified to be able to shoot in the Olympics. This begins when a shooter fires a minimum score at a USA Shooting-sanctioned match, which earns them an invitation to the USA Shooting national championships. If he or she does well enough at nationals, the shooter may be selected for the National Team or National Development Team.

Those who make the National Team have the opportunity to get on the traveling squads that shoot international matches, which in turn gives them the chance to qualify individually for the Olympics by placing in the top spots at a World Cup-level competition in a given event.

Athletes may and often do qualify themselves for more than one event. But getting oneself qualified--in and of itself quite a feat--isn't the end.

The final step comes at the Olympic team trials, where the goal is as clear as could be: Finish first or second. Those who accomplish that goal and are individually qualified--in an event where the U.S. has the maximum two slots available--go to the Olympics.

CLICK HERE for information on the U.S. National Pistol Coach Sergey Luzov

Below is the schedule of events and our Olympians competing in those events. Check back for updates and scores as they become available.

Also be sure to click on our Olympian's names below to read their bios and on the events for information on what the events are, and to read the coaches comments on what to expect from our Olympians--and our competition--in Beijing.

UPDATED
Men's Air Pistol: Saturday, August 9
Jason Turner
Brian Beaman

UPDATED
Women's Air Pistol: Sunday, August 10
Rebecca "Beki" Snyder
Brenda Shinn

Men's Free Pistol: Tuesday, August 12
Jason Turner
Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski

Sport Pistol: Wednesday, August 13
Rebecca "Beki" Snyder
Staff Sgt. Elizabeth "Libby" Callahan

UPDATED
Rapid-Fire Pistol: Stage 1--Friday, August 15; Stage 2 and final--Saturday, August 16
Keith Sanderson

DISCUSS THE OLYMPICS AND MORE HERE

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