Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein

Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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U.S. Olympic shooter suspended, ineligible for Tokyo Games

Keith Sanderson
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U.S. Olympic shooting qualifier Keith Sanderson has been suspended for three months for sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, making him ineligible for the Tokyo Games.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, which responds to reports of sexual misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, issued the suspension on June 1.

A deadline to appeal has passed, and the suspension is considered final, according to USA Shooting.

“We strongly condemn all forms of abuse, and will support and enforce the Center’s sanction,” according to a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee statement on Wednesday. “Given the duration of the suspension, he is ineligible to compete in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and will be replaced on the team per USA Shooting selection procedures.”

Sanderson, 46, competed at the last three Olympics in the rapid-fire pistol with a best finish of fifth.

USA Shooting named its Olympic team of 19 shooters last month, with Sanderson, and since received an extra quota spot in Sanderson’s event. With Sanderson ineligible, it has two spots to fill.

Brothers Henry Leverett and Jack Leverett III will fill those spots. They both compete collegiately for Ohio State.

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U.S. Olympic shooting team roster finalized

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Sagen Maddalena and Patrick Sunderman earned the last two spots on the U.S. Olympic shooting team, one that will be without all three of its medalists from Rio, according to TeamUSA.org.

Maddalena, who competed collegiately for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Sunderman, a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit, made the team in the last Olympic Trials event in Fort Benning, Georgia.

They’re joined in the three-position rifle event by Mary Tucker and Nick Mowrer, who previously qualified for the Olympics in the air rifle and air pistol, respectively. Mowrer can become the first U.S. shooter to compete in two different disciplines at an Olympics since 1924, according to Olympedia.org.

Ginny Thrasher, who won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics, missed the three-position rifle team by one spot, according to TeamUSA.org, and was named a non-traveling alternate. Thrasher previously missed the team in the air rifle, her Olympic gold-medal event, in February 2020.

“This is bittersweet for me,” was posted on Thrasher’s Instagram. “Sweet because I am proud to represent my country in any way, even if it’s training and being on standby (but don’t worry, America is in good hands with @mtucker10.9 and @sagenmaddalena!) But bitter because I did not achieve my goal and make my second Olympic Team.

“Even though this is the end of my Road to Tokyo, this is not the end of my shooting journey – we will come back stronger through every adversity!”

Kim Rhode, a medalist at every Olympics from 1996 through 2016, missed the skeet team last year.

Corey Cogdell Unrein earned trap bronze in 2008 and 2016. She had baby boy Lane in April 2019, then competed at nationals two months later. She last competed on the top international level in 2018, according to the International Shooting Sport Federation.

The U.S. team for Tokyo includes one shooter with an Olympic medal. Vincent Hancock took skeet gold in 2008 and 2012, then placed 15th in 2016.

The team ranges in age from 50 (Sandra Uptagrafft) to Austen Smith, who turns 20 on the day of the Opening Ceremony.

LIST: U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics across all sports

U.S. Olympic Shooting Team
Madelynn Bernau
Kayle Browning
Amber English
Alexis Lagan
Sagen Maddalena
Austen Smith
Mary Tucker
Sandra Uptagrafft
Ali Weisz
Brian Burrows
James Hall
Vincent Hancock
Phillip Jungman
Lucas Kozeniesky
Derrick Mein
Nick Mowrer
Keith Sanderson
Will Shaner
Patrick Sunderman

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