OFF TARGET: TEAM USA STRUGGLES IN SHOOTING

TOKYO, Japan — Among the Paralympic sports, shooting is not one where Team USA shines bright so far at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo. 

Five athletes represented the United States on the third day of competitions but only one made it to final, where he did not win any medals. 

In the R3 Mixed 10 meter Air Rifle Prone, category SH1, first-time Paralympian Taylor Farmer finished her competition in the 32nd position with a score of 628.6. 

In the same race,  Kevin Nguyen finished in 36th position with a score of 627.9.

“I was satisfied with [my competition],” Nguyen said after the qualification round. “To make the final was pretty high today, I knew that my average [is] not there.”

Kevin Nguyen during his competition at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo 2020, Wednesday, September 1, 2021. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lev Radin)

“I talked to one of the other Olympians at our unit of the Army Marksmanship Unit– Mr. Ryder. He is a two time Olympian. He said, ‘don’t go there expecting to do better, because if you’ve never done it before, you’re not going to achieve it.”

Nguyen felt he accomplished what he set out to do.

“So my goal was to shoot about 628, and I’ve got 627.9,” he said.

After representing the United Stated wearing the Army uniform, Nguyen finds himself representing Team USA at the Paralympic Games for the first time. 

“It’s definitely a humbling experience. I mean, I get the best of both worlds. I not only get to be a soldier, but I also get to be here, a representative of the States as a whole. Our job is being an ambassador. It’s just go do my best and just represent United Stated as best as I can.”

In the second event of the day at the Asaka Shooting Range, the R5 mixed 10 meter Air Rifle Prone, category SH2, Team USA reached the final with Stetson Bardfield. The 20-year-old finished in the sixth position in the qualification with the score of 635.8, a very competitive qualification round that saw the Italian Andrea Liverani setting a new Paralympic record. 

Stetson Bardfield, 20 years old, during his race at the Asaka Shooting Range, Tokyo on Wednesday, September 1, 2021. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lev Radin)

In the final, Bardfield confirmed his sixth position, with a score of 167.8 after being knocked out at the third round of the second stage of competition. 

In the same specialty and category as Bardfield, Jazmin Almlie and McKenna Geer finished in 16th and 34th position, with the scores of 632.6 and 627.1, respectively.

For more photos please check out photos.wheelchairsportsfederation.org

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