The 2008 Summer Olympic Shootings began on Saturday, August 9th in Beijing, China. By the end of the first day, USA Shooting’s best performances were had by Jamie Beyerle, placing fourth in Women’s 10m Air Rifle with a total score of 499.8, and Jason Turner, placing fourth in Men’s 10m Air Pistol with a score of 682.0.

The first gold medal of the 2008 Olympic Games was earned by Katy Emmons of the Czech Republic with final score and Olympic record of 503.5. Emmons, a 2004 bronze medalist is married to USA Shooting’s Matt Emmons, a 2004 gold medalist and member of the 2008 USA Olympic shooting team.

David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic took top honors in Men’s Trap on Sunday, shooting a total of 146 targets out of 150. USA trap shooters Dominic Grazioli and Bret Erickson represented the best American performance placing 22nd and 23rd, respectively.

This year’s Olympic host country, China, celebrated as Guo Wenjun earned the gold medal in the Air Pistol event with a score of 492.3, also setting a new Olympic record. USA’s top finisher was 46-year-old Brenda Shinn who took up shooting again just two years ago. She shot a score of 373 earning her a 37th finish.

cogdell-corey-2.gifDAY 3
An exciting shoot-off for a bronze medal in the Women’s Trap event was championed by USA’s Corey Cogdell. This medal is the first medal won by the USA shooting team. Cogdell has only been competing in International Trap for two years but she found herself in a four-way shoot-off after breaking 86 targets. After drawing a fourth spot for the shoot-off and watching the first three miss, she chipped a small piece off this last target, allowing her to claim the bronze.

In a interview after the event, she said, “I didn’t expect to do this well after only shooting competitively for the past two years. I wasn’t even supposed to get on the Olympic team. My goal was to be on the 2012 Olympic team, so to win a medal at the Olympics at this point in my career is really a dream come true.”

U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) member Jason Parker and West Point Cadet Stephen Scherer were the top performers in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event, placing 23rd and 27th respectively.

Olympic Shooting
Competitive shooting goes back to the earliest recorded history when projectiles were thrown at targets in contests designed to test hunting skills. German shooting clubs were formed in the early 1200s and many of those active today possess records that date clubs back to the 15th century.

Since the first modern Olympic games at Athens in 1896, shooting has been a feature event with the exception of the 1904 St. Louis Games and the 1928 games in Amsterdam. Seven nations competed in the 1896 Athens games while 100 nations are expected to compete for medals at the 2008 Beijing contest. This year, fifteen events will be held in China.

China’s first Olympic gold medal came in 1984 with shooter Xu Haifeng. Haifeng was honored during the opening ceremony as the first to carry the Olympic flame in the torch relay. Beginning in 1956, China’s shooting team has earned 34 medals, 14 gold since 1984.

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DAY 1 The 2008 Summer Olympic Shootings began on Saturday, August 9th in Beijing,…