Ali Weisz ends U.S. women’s rifle drought at world shooting championships

Alison Weisz

Olympic shooter Ali Weisz became the first American woman to win an individual world championship in a rifle event in 43 years.

Weisz, a 27-year-old from Montana, took gold in the 10m air rifle at the world championships in Cairo on Friday, one year after placing 14th in the event in her Olympic debut.

She became the first U.S. woman to win an individual rifle medal of any color at worlds since Elizabeth Bourland‘s 50m prone bronze in 1998. The last U.S. woman to win a world gold in rifle was Karen Monez in 1979.

U.S. women’s recent shooting success has mostly come in shotgun events.

Weisz enlisted on active duty in May 2020. As of the Tokyo Olympics, she was serving as a shooter and instructor at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Georgia.

While at the University of Mississippi, she split a playing card in half with an air rifle on her first attempt.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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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
Getty Images

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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