Brandy Drozd continued her impressive 2012 season with a silver medal at the 2012 World Cup Finals. A National Junior Team member, Drozd earned her first World Cup medal back in March and followed that up with a Junior Olympic Title and fourth-place finish at Nationals in July.
MUNICH, Germany -- Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) made shooting history once again and this time she brought along teammates Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) and Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa). The three American Women’s Skeet competitors swept the podium at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup event in Munich, Germany.
“My teammates shot fantastic, and it's great to be on the podium all together,” said Rhode under three American flags weaving upon Munich's podium. “It's incredible and it really shows how deep our team is. We have a very strong team and we're pushing each other to do better and better, and that's perfect on the way to our ultimate goal, Rio 2016.”
The World Cup podium sweep was just the seventh all-time within the shotgun discipline dating back to 1986. For Rhode and Dunn, history did in fact repeat itself as they were a part of the last podium sweep on record when they teamed with Connie Smotek for a similar performance in 2008 on the familiar range of Kerrville, Texas.
Italy and the U.S. are the only teams to have ever claimed all three podium spots during a World Cup with Italy doing it in 1989 in Men’s Trap, 1998 in Men’s Skeet and 1999 in Women’s Trap. The U.S. Men’s Skeet Team of current head coach Todd Graves, Edward McCamish and Bill Roy accomplished the feat back in 1993 in Los Angeles.
This is the first U.S. medal sweep recorded on an international range. The 34-year-old Rhode closed the semifinal tied with her 20-year-old teammate Drozd with 15 hits out of 16 targets. The following gold-medal match did not separate them, as both Rhode and Drozd cleared the round hitting all 16 clays.
Just like in Tucson at the season’s first World Cup of the season when a shoot-off would decide the bronze medal, the two teammates would have to settle their differences with a target shoot-off once again, this time for gold. The decisive moment came on Station 4 when Drozd missed her first two targets and Rhode shattered them both, winning the gold with a score of 16+6 to Drozd’s 16+4 hits. Drozd this time however had secured the second World Cup medal of her young career.
The third U.S. finalist, 29-year-old four-time World Cup medalist Dunn, joined the All-American podium beating Russia's Albina Shakirova (27) by 15 to 11 hits in the bronze-medal match. For Dunn, it was a sweet return to the World Cup medal stand having not earned a spot there since winning in Lonato, Italy, in 2010.
For Rhode, the only American competing in an individual sport to earn five consecutive Olympic medals, it’s the third World Cup medal in three events to start her season. After taking some time off last year to give birth to son, Carter, Rhode won bronze at the first World Cup stage of the season in Tucson, Arizona. Then, she climbed atop of the podium at the second World Cup match in Almaty, Kazakhstan, three weeks ago.
“Having won two Golds and one Bronze in the last three world cup stages, I am ecstatic.” Rhode said.
The USA Shooting Team for Shotgun is enjoying a very successful World Cup event, the largest recorded World Cup on record, having earned seven medals through four of the five events including double podium placements in Women’s Trap, Men’s Double Trap and now a medal sweep in Women’s Skeet. Men’s Skeet will be decided tomorrow with Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) in contention for his first career World Cup medal after being one of the 11 competitors to record a 50-straight today. Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) is one target back while two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) is two targets back and will be looking to connect on 75-straight targets Thursday to move him into contention as well.
Tori Burch (Kerrville, Texas) and Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs) kicked off the U.S. Team success with a 1-2 finish in Women’s Trap last Friday. That was followed by yet another strong performance by the Men’s Double Trap team in which Glenn Eller (USAMU/Houston, Texas) and Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, California) took home the silver and bronze medals.
In particular, Germany has been kind to the shotgun team as a whole lately with the seven medals in World Cup action pairing nicely with a Junior Team performance earlier this month in Suhl that saw the team earn seven medals as well including three gold, two silver and two bronze along with 11 top-seven performances.
Of the 48 shotgun medals awarded through three World Cups, the USA Shooting Team in shotgun has earned 13 medals thus far in 2014.
In rifle and pistol action Wednesday, Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Massachusetts) was the highest U.S. finisher in the Three-Position Rifle event in 28th place followed by teammate Amy Sowash (Richland, Kentucky) in 29th. Olympian Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington) finished 33rd. In Men’s Air Pistol, Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) was 25th while James Henderson (USAMU/Midland, Georgia) and Jason Turner (Rochester) were 36th and 55th.
While all podium performances for the USA Shooting Team have come in shotgun, both Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) nearly joined the parade Tuesday with a pair of fourth-place finishes. In two World Cups now, Sanderson has placed first and fourth in Rapid Fire Pistol while Emmons has secured a sixth-place finish in Three-Position Rifle which he shoots Thursday as well as a fourth-place finish in Prone Rifle. Additionally, Scherer was an event finalist in Air Rifle, finishing seventh.
The Munich World Cup concludes Thursday with the second day of Men’s Skeet along with Men’s Three-Position Rifle and Women’s Air Pistol.