COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 23, 2019)
Seven USA Shooting Paralympic Team athletes are set for World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) World Cup competition in Osijek, Croatia, that kicks off Thursday and concludes the following Tuesday.
World Shooting Para Sport returns to Osijek for the third time. This will be the first WSPS competition that includes Rifle, Pistol, Para Trap, and Visually Impaired (VI) competition. A world cup in this historic range will provide athletes the opportunity to earn valuable Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS) ahead of the 2019 World Championships in Sydney, Australia, later this year.
USA Shooting Team athletes making the trip include 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington) and 2016 Paralympic pistol team representative Mike Tagliapietra (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin). Joining Dahl in rifle competition will be her fellow training mates in Stetson Bardfield (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Taylor Farmer (Castalia, Ohio). These two athletes have proven themselves in competition since 2016 and will look to kick-start their run to a 2020 Paralympic Team push. Farmer earned Paralympic Athlete of the Year honors in 2018 for USA Shooting.
Tagliapietra will participate along with Yanxiao Gong (South Pasadena, California) on the pistol side. Gong, who trains at the Bridge Junior Shooting Club managed by In Kim, is new to the U.S. Team. The 21-year-old recently earned National Team status after a strong performance at the 2019 USA Shooting National Championships where he finished second in Men’s Air Pistol.
Jason Pepper (San Antonio, Texas) and Jim Sadecki (Burlington, Connecticut) will compete in VI for the first time as