Four Team USA Air Rifle participants shoot their way to Tokyo 2020

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 03:11:30-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — It is one of the few USA Olympic trail events that take place in Olympic City USA.

On Sunday, four participants shot their way to represent Team USA at the 2020 Olympic in Tokyo.

On the men’s side, Lucas Kozeniesky (Colorado Springs, CO) & Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, CO) will represent the red, white & blue. This will be the second time Kozeniesky will be heading to the Olympics.

Kozeniesky also tied a world record with his Day 2 score of 633.5. They are the first U.S. shooters to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“I can’t put it into words, but the ability to represent the nation is a lot, and to do it at the Olympics again is a big deal and I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life,” said Kozeniesky. “Mens air rifle has never had a medalist, we’ve had a finalist but never a medal, so I'm looking to conquer that this year .”

For the women, Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Florida), and Ali Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) punched their ticket to Japan.

“I still wanted to do really well in the finals even though I already knew [what the outcome was] I wanted to go and represent the best I can and this is not the end it’s just the beginning,” said Mary Tucker, University of Kentucky Air Rifle Athlete and now Olympic Team Member.

Tucker had secured her Olympic Team spot before finals, but for Weisz it came down to the finals competition. Tucker came out of the first stage of the trials with 1256.4 points and the lead over the entire field, including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher.

“The biggest thing I was working on this weekend was shooting my match and not worrying about others, just focusing on what I can control,” said Ali Weisz Graduate Assistant Coach at University of Memphis Air Rifle Team. “There’s a lot of great athletes here and it could have been any one of us. I’m going to go back to my team at home and take it one step at a time, dig in and train hard.”

Matt Sanchez (Tampa, Florida) and Will Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) secured their spots as alternates for the men and Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California) and Sarah Beard (Columbus, Georgia) the women’s alternate team members.