Army marksmen medal in World Cup
ARLINGTON, Va. — Army marksmen captured four medals in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup, a nine-day event that ended April 20.
The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit traveled to Beijing for the competition, the only opportunity it will have to test its skills in the same venues that will be used during the Olympics in August.
The soldiers joined more than 1,200 shooters from 92 countries competing in 15 disciplines, the largest shooting competition ever held in China.
Spec. Walton Glenn Eller III, who earned a berth on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team earlier this spring, won a silver medal in the men’s double trap. He will participate in the shotgun competition this summer.
Teammates Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Tamas and Spc. Michael McPhail took silver and bronze, respectively, in the men’s prone rifle. Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski took a bronze in men’s 50-meter free pistol.
Pfc. Vincent Hancock, the 2007 World Cup Italy Champion and world record holder, entered the men’s skeet final in first place, with 121 targets. But in a cold, driving downpour, he missed four targets and finished fourth.
The Army Marksmanship Unit, based at Fort Benning, Ga., has four soldiers already qualified for the Olympics, according to unit commander Lt. Col. Frank Muggeo. In addition to Eller, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker qualified in the international rifle competition, and Spcs. Vincent Hancock and Jeffrey Holguin qualified in shotgun events.
The U.S. Olympic Shooting Team has two spots to fill in men’s international rifle, two in women’s international rifle and three in men’s international pistol.
Army Marksmanship Unit members will be competing for all seven slots in May, Muggeo said.
There are two additional Olympic team slots available in women’s international pistol, but the team has no competitors in that event, he said.
Unit member Staff Sgt. Joshua Olson, who lost a leg in Iraq, will be trying for the U.S. Paralympics Team in marksmanship in May in Germany. Olson made the team in 2006.