UAF Shooter One Step Closer to Olympics
Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: (907) 474-7778
University of Alaska Fairbanks sophomore Jamie Beyerle won the gold medal and an Olympic quota place for the United States at the International Shooting Sports Federation World Cup Zagreb.
In a tense competition, Beyerle went into the final in fifth place with 579 points, but a top performance in the last round netted her an additional 100.7 points, well outstripping the 97.6 of her nearest competitor, Czech Lucie Valova. Beyerle used every bit of her advantage to nudge Valova off the gold-medal stand, finishing up the match 679.7 to 678.6. The bronze went to Barbara Lechner of Germany with a 675.9.
Beyerle's win also means a quota place for the United States in the Olympic Games next year, ensuring the Americans a place on the firing line in Greece.
"This is a big deal for the U.S. shooting team," said UAF rifle coach Glenn Dubis. "Jamie has won the first of a possible two quota places in this event. Quota places give nations the right to participate in the particular Olympic event. So Jamie's win means the U.S. can field an athlete in women's 50-meter three-position rifle in Athens."
Beyerle joins her former UAF teammate Matt Emmons in this distinction. Emmons earned a quota place in men's 50-meter three-position at the 2002 Atlanta World Cup.
"Although both Jamie and Matt must still earn their positions on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team, they are likely candidates to make the team," Dubis noted. "World cup matches are, in effect, mini-Olympics. They are the best predictors of who will win medals in the big event.
"The wins of these two athletes prove that they should both be in the hunt for medals next summer."