(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – July 8, 2019) – Austen Smithand Alexander Ahlin were crowned Junior World Champions in the Skeet Mixed Team event Sunday adding to a truly patriotic weekend for America’s Shooting Team at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships taking place in Lonato, Italy.
Joining Sunday’s podium success was six-time Olympian Kim Rhode and the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (USAMU) Christian Elliott, as they finished runner-up to a tough Italian duo on their home soil in the Open class.
In an extended celebration of America’s birthday, USA Shooting Team athletes thus far at the World Championships have earned one individual world title, two women’s World Team titles in Trap, a Junior Mixed Team Skeet title, an Open Skeet Mixed Team silver, Women’s Junior Skeet individual silver medal, and team bronze in Women’s Junior Skeet and Junior Men’s Trap. Still to come this week is action in Men’s Junior Skeet and Women’s Skeet.
Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) earned the world title on Wednesday in Women’s Trap, which was followed by a runner-up finish from Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) in Junior Women’s Skeet.
It’s been a particularly good championship thus far for U.S. Team members whose first name starts with the letter A, with Ashley getting things started last week and Austen and Alexander adding to it Sunday. The duo qualified first and would match up against the Russian duo of Mark Eshchanov and Elena Bukhonova. Smith and Ahlin each missed four of 40 targets once in the Final, which would be five better than the Russian pair.
Smith (Keller, Texas) is racking up World Championship medals at a pretty good pace. She already has two previous individual medals to go along with three World Team medals, and now a Junior Mixed Team top performance. She was close to having another chance at an individual medal, finishing eighth Saturday and just one target out of a potential Finals berth. The National Junior Olympic Champion Ahlin (Bamburg, South Carolina) will now focus in on the individual portion of Junior Men’s Skeet that begins Tuesday. He’ll be looking to improve upon his 2018 World Championship placement of 37th.
Seeking her second career world title after placing second a year ago to USA’s Caitlin Connor, Rhode (El Monte, California) was able to pair with Elliott (Greenville, Indiana) for a great showing and a runner-up finish. Rhode was a perfect 75/75 in Qualification while Elliott missed just two during his second round, which led them to earning the top spot in the Final. That set up a terrific showdown with reigning individual Olympic champions of Gabriele Rossetti and Diana Bacosi of Italy. Rhode and Elliott would miss just two targets each, but with Bacosi perfect and Rossetti missing just two, Team USA would have to settle for the silver medal.
Elliott finished 14th on Saturday in the individual Men’s Skeet results, just one target shy of a potential Finals berth. The six-time Olympic medalist Rhode now prepares to try and defend the No. 1 world ranking she’s earned after four-straight World Cup victories.
Help USA Shooting Team athletes achieve more podium performances by stepping up and supporting the Raise The Flag Chairman’s Challenge. Your contributions allow these great shooting sport ambassadors to compete across the globe in pursuit of podium-worthy performances that ultimately raises that U.S. Flag.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: http://bit.ly/2RTsIDh
Go back and watch any of the event Finals from World Championships at https://livestream.com/ISSF
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