COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 21, 2018)
The first World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS, formerly IPC) World Cup of the season starts tomorrow in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates with five American athletes looking to prove themselves in a leadup to the WSPS World Championship less than two months away.
“I am taking most of my big hitters to UAE,” said recently-named National Paralympic Coach Chuck Platt. It will be a tough competition, but the athletes have trained well for this. Goals for this Cup are to send a message to the para-shooting commute that Team USA is a force to be reckoned with…It’s been challenging taking over this team but very rewarding. We have great athletes and I am trying to build on what coach Armando (Ayala) has given me.” Former National Paralympic Coach Ayala has stayed on as an assistant coach. Read more here.
Though 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington, pictured) isn’t resting on her laurels in her signature events of R4 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2) and R5 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2), she’ll also be making her smallbore competition debut in the newly-minted WSPS event, R9 (Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH2).
“I’m excited to shoot smallbore for the first time in competition,” Dahl said. “My goal for UAE is to shoot the MQS needed to take smallbore to Worlds and learn as much as I can about wind. Worlds will be the chance to bring all three events together and be competitive as we start qualifying for the Games.”
Expect strong performances from the rest of the squad, including two-time individual World Cup medalist Marco DeLaRosa, who will look to improve on his bronze-medal performance in P1 (Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1) at the last WSPS World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in November. Joining him in the Men’s Pistol events will be his Aaron Causey (Riverside, Alabama) with whom he won a team bronze medal in Bangkok in the P1 event.
On the rifle side, Kevin Nguyen (Westminster, California) and Taylor Farmer (Castalia, Ohio) had breakout years in 2017, each winning a medal in their international competition debuts - Nguyen gold in R6 (Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1) and Farmer silver in R2 (Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1) - at the WSPS-sanctioned match at the USA Shooting National Championships. The pair also finished just outside of the medals at the World Cup in Bangkok.
The WSPS World Cup in Al Ain begins competition tomorrow. This match marks the penultimate opportunity for athletes to earn Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS) to qualify for the WSPS World Championship in Cheongju, South Korea in May. The World Championship marks the first opportunity for athletes to earn quotas for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Live results from this WSPS World Cup can be found here: http://results.sius.com/Events.aspx?Championship=AlAin2018WorldShootingParaSportWorldCup20180322AlAinUAE and