USA’s Rupert Defends World Title with ISSF Junior Cup Win

It took just six days for Double Trap to re-enter the headlines for the USA Shooting Team. Happening with great regularity to start 2014, today it was Ian Rupert making noise with a medal his own. Participating in the inaugural International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior Cup in Suhl, Germany, Rupert took home the gold medal after qualifying in the No. 1 position.

Rupert began the day shooting a qualifying score of 138 to advance to the semifinals with five other competitors. His semifinals score of 28 would force him into a shoot-off with Russia’s Viacheslav Yukhimenko, who he eventually defeat to face another Russian foe in Kirill Fokeev. Rupert score an impressive 29 in that gold-medal to defeat Fokeev by two targets.

Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) also joined his junior teammates of Dale Royer (Jackson, Mont.) and Christian Wilkoski (Centerburg, Ohio) to earn the team silver medal behind Italy while Russia finished third. Royer was on the verge of earning his first international final but was defeated in a shoot-off against the two Russian competitors Rupert faced. He scored a 136 to finish seventh overall. Wilkoski shot a 132 in qualifying to finish ninth.

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When the world’s elite Double Trap competitors like Glenn Eller, Josh Richmond, Jeff Holguin and Derek Haldeman reside in the very country you compete in, making a name for yourself is an uphill climb. Richmond has secured back-to-back World Cup silver medals to begin his season while Holguin earned the victory at World Cup Tucson in April.

However, an international medal in the ISSF Acapulco (Mexico) World Cup and a gold medal at the ISSF World Championships as a junior competitor and now a win in Suhl, have etched out Rupert’s place among this nation’s double trap contenders.

Rupert’s medals just add to the legacy that is building with every medal among the U.S. Men’s Double Trap team. In 31 events since 2008 including Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup Finals and World Cups, an American has finished lower than sixth only six times. In the eight events since the disappointment in London where no American finished in the top-eight, only once [World Cup Cyprus] has an American finished lower than fifth. In that stretch, the U.S. team has earned six medals. Since 2008, the U.S. Men’s Double Trap Team has won 19 medals in 31 events.

Twenty-five U.S. athletes are in Suhl competing in the first-ever Junior Cup. Rifle and pistol events get underway Thursday with Men’s Prone and Women’s Three-Position Rifle along with Men’s and Women’s Air Pistol.

Heading to the firing line in those events for the USA Shooting Team will be Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.), Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Ark.), Minden Miles (Weatherford, Texas) and Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.) in Rifle with Brian Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.), Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Fla.), Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.), Darian Shenk (Annville, Pa.), and Irina Andrianova (Shaumburg, Ill.) set for Pistol events. Shotgun takes one day off before trap and skeet get going on Thursday followed by a women’s final on Friday and men’s final on Saturday for both events.

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