The 2012 Olympics in London are just around the corner, and our shooters are traveling around the world to compete in
the high-level matches necessary to earn spots on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team. SFC Keith Sanderson of Colorado Springs, CO, took a step in that direction yesterday when he grabbed a bronze medal in rapid-fire pistol at the International Shooting sport Federation World Cup Final in Wroclaw, Poland.
Sanderson—who won the first Men's Rapid Fire quota this year and a member of the 2008 Olympic squad, finishing in fifth place—shot 581 match points. Teammate Emil Milev of Temple Terrace, FL, shot 576 match points, and both athletes found themselves in the final.
In the new ISSF finals format, all athletes begin at a score of zero and achieve points or hits through a 9.7 point shot or greater. The first competitor is eliminated after four rounds of shooting, and then one is eliminated each round thereafter until a winner emerges.
Sanderson notched 17 hits after just four rounds and then 26 hits after seven rounds to win the bronze medal. National Pistol Coach Sergey Luzov said the Americans have been working on "four-second series consistency to improve numbers in the new finals format." Milev finished in fifth place with 19 hits.
Luzov says he's glad to see that the hard work is paying off. "glad to see the hard work paying off" with improved finals scores. Alexi Klimov of Russia won the silver medal with 30 hits and Christian Reitz of Germany tallied 32 hits for the gold medal.
2008 Olympic Rapid-Fire Results