The 2012 London Olympics are just around the corner, and U.S.
athletes have been traveling across the globe to shoot the high-level international competitions that can qualify them for a coveted slot on the U.S. Olympic shooting team.
SFC Eric Uptagrafft of Phenix City, AL — who just returned from a deployment in Afghanistan — accomplished his mission with a silver-medal performance at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in Wroclaw, Poland. Uptagrafft shot a 599 out of 600 in Men's 50m Rifle Prone. That 599 was enough to get him into the final, where he hung tough with a 102.8 and a 701.8 — one point behind gold medalist Sergei Martynov of Belarus and more than two points ahead of Poland's Sebastian Rabalski.
This win marked Uptagrafft's third silver medal on the international scene in 2011; his earlier two came at the ISSF World Cups in Sydney and Changwon. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit member is currently ranked No. 2 in the world in 50m Prone.
"It was great being back on the podium again," Uptagrafft said. "This match was great training for next summer in London, where I'm hope to break my silver medal streak."
His performances have qualified him for a nomination to the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, and U.S. rifle coach Maj. Dave Johnson is encouraged by Uptagrafft's most recent effort.
"Eric stepped back on to the podium in style," Johnson said. "His 599 in the qualification was very solid and a good performance. He's in great shape as he approaches the London Olympic Games."