At the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, on July 28, Team USA secured two quotas for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, thanks to clutch performances by 3-Position rifle shooters Sarah Beard and Ginny Thrasher.
Beard won the gold medal after reaching the finals with a qualification score of 1165 that was the second highest in the field. The score also included a perfect prone 400 score. In the final, Beard edged Eglys De La Cruz (Cuba) by 0.7 points.
Last year at the Championshp of the Americas, Beard secured one quota. She is among the hopeful shooters that will attempt the qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this fall, which would be her first Games.
"As always, it's an honor to represent Team USA on the podium," Beard said to USA Shooting in a press release. "It's even better sharing it with a teammate. "I'm happy to come home having accomplished my job. Big thanks to Perú for putting on an awesome competition so far, and also to our coaches and staff for providing constant support."
Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher had to settle for the bronze this match, but notably during the final she notched the highest five-shot string that helped her secure the medal, after leaving qualification in fourth place. Even more importantly, her third place finish gave the U.S. its second Olympic quota of the day.
“A bronze medal has never felt so much like gold to me," Thrasher told USA Shooting. "Any day I can represent my country on the podium is a great day and being able to win a quota for Team USA to compete in Tokyo is an achievement I'm proud of. Peru has been such a great host country to us and getting to share the podium with my teammate on such a beautiful range made today even more special."
Photo courtesy of USA Shooting.