Aug. 26, 2005
MUNICH, Germany - Navy volunteer assistant rifle coach, Eric Uptagrafft pieced together a dominating round of shooting to claim the prestigious ISSF World Cup Final title in the 50-meter prone men event. Uptagrafft entered the finals in second behind the No. 1-ranked shooter in the world and world-record holder, Sergie Martynov of Belarus, but quickly moved past him in claiming his first World Cup championship.
"I knew that my toughest opponent would be Sergei (Martynov)," said Uptagrafft, a 39-year-old native of Longmont, Colo. Uptagrafft, who qualified for this ISSF World Cup Final with his second-place showing at the ISSF World Cup in Ft. Benning recorded an outstanding final score of 104.4 and could therefore make up the two points difference on Martynov after the qualification round and won the Gold medal with a total of 702.4. "I think my experience made me today's winner," added Uptagrafft, who won his first ISSF World Cup Final competition.
The World Cup final is by invitation only and just 10 shooters from around the world are allowed to participate. The qualifiers are based on rankings and one must medal in one of the four World Cup competitions held around the world during the year.
"After the Olympics and World Championships, this is the big event," said Navy head coach Bill Kelley. "Everybody who is anybody in the world of shooting is at this competition."
Uptagrafft serves as a volunteer assistant coach with the Navy rifle team. Kelley said that having him in the program has done nothing but help the team.
"We are obviously thrilled to death with Eric's achievements," said Kelley. "It couldn't have happened to a better person and to have him represent the United States and Navy is a tremendous accomplishment.
"He has been shooting for a long time, and the fact that he has stayed patient and persevered through a lot says something about the type of person he is," said Kelley. "We are very excited for Eric and are proud that he is working with our student-athletes."
# GO NAVY #