Tori Burch joined Janessa Beaman in taking the top two steps of the Women’s Trap podium in the opening event of the ISSF World Cup in Munich, Germany. Victoria Burch (Kerrville, Texas) and Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs) contributed in a big way to the ongoing success of USA Shooting’s shotgun program Friday. The timing of which couldn’t have been better for either the team or individuals involved.
The Men’s and Women’s Trap Program for USA Shooting had been shut out of the six medals earned to date in two World Cups by the team, but that all changed today at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Munich, Germany, when Burch and Beaman delivered gold and silver medals.
The performance was so good the usually stoic head coach Todd Graves pronounced it a “damn good day.” That’s the reaction you’d expect given how much the trap program has struggled of late. Before Friday, just two World Cup podium finishes had been earned by a male or female trap shooter wearing the USA vest since the 2012 Olympic Games.
“It’s amazing,” Burch acknowledged by phone Friday afternoon. “There’s no other way to describe it. To win in only my second international match shooting my first international final is something special. I’ve struggled shooting this new finals format, but today it all just came together. It was a tough match overall with the pressure that comes when everyone is shooting high scores. You can’t mimic this anywhere but in an environment like this and I’m just happy to have withstood.”
Not a bad performance for someone filling in during the absence of two-time National Champion Rachael Heiden (Clinton, Michigan) who started Physician’s Assistant school two weeks ago in Denver. Had Heiden not declined the invitation, Burch wouldn’t have been given the opportunity. Adding to the excitement of competition was the fact that her parents were present after surprising her at the airport and announcing they were joining her in Munich. She’s even more glad they did now and we’re sure they are too.
Burch had only competed once in an ISSF event, back in 2011, when she placed 33rd Sydney (Australia) World Cup stage. Today, she started off with three great qualification series scores (25, 24 and 25 hits), and then closed the semifinal in second place behind Beaman with 14 hits.
In the following gold-medal match, when the scores are set back to zero and the two finalists duel for the brightest medal, the 24-year old shooter beat her teammate Beaman, 15 to 14 hits, pocketing her first ISSF gold ever.
“The gold-medal match felt really good,” Burch said in an ISSF interview. “I was really focused and relaxed, because I knew that either way I was going to come out with a medal.”
High scores ruled the day in Women’s Trap with Burch shooting a 74/75 and Beaman following with a 73, which put her in a shoot-off with three other women to earn a spot in the semifinal.
A 1-2 World Cup Finish for Tori Burch (Center) and Janessa Beaman, the first time in the history of the U.S. Women’s Trap program. Photo courtesy of the ISSF.For Beaman, the 2011 Junior World Champion, the result was equally impressive after suffering some disappointment from her scores in the Almaty, Kazakhstan World Cup late last month. A long distance pep talk from her biggest support, father Jay, helped provide the push she needed to earn her first World Cup medal.
“We got to shoot a lot of practice here since Almaty,” Beaman said. “That familiarity led to a lot of confidence throughout the match.”
Beaman was perfect in the seminfinals to advance to the gold-medal final shooting a perfect 15/15 score. The one target that would cost her gold would be the first target of the final against Burch, but she admitted that was the “wake up call” she’d need to focus on the moment and execute a hit on the next 14 targets she’d see.
It was close to being an American trio of finalists with Ashley Carroll(Solvang, California) shooting a qualifying score of 71 missing a potential semifinals opportunity by two targets. If shooting in a team format similar to what takes place at a World Championships, the three American women would have broken the Team World Record by four targets. You have to go back to 2008 to the last time the U.S. had two trap shooters on the podium at the same time when Terri Dewitt and Joette Dement finished first and third in a World Cup in Kerrville, Texas. Only three times before has there been a 1-2 American finish all in men’s trap, but this is the first time among women.
The fourth leg of this year’s ISSF World Cup Series features 1,300 shooters coming from 96 countries competing at the 1972 Olympic Shooting Range in the 15 Olympic shooting events of Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun, June 6-12.
Fifteen men are perfect through their first 50 targets in the Men’s Trap event that got underway today and will conclude Saturday with an additional 75 targets in qualifying followed by the semifinals and finals. Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Oregon) is one target out shooting a 49 while Seth Inman (USAMU/Independence, Missouri) and Jake Wallace (Castiac, California) are in the hunt after shooting scores of 48.
Rifle and Pistol competition gets underway Sunday with Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle, Men’s Free Pistol and the start of Women’s Sport Pistol.
For ISSF World Cup Munich results, click here: http://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/venue/schedule_by_discipline.ashx?cshipid=1514
*Editorial assistance provided by Marco Dalla Dea of the ISSF.
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