Team USA Olympian and USAR CMP shooter SFC Keith Sanderson ruled the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men final, coming back after arm surgery, outscoring the 2008 Olympic Bronze medallist Christian Reitz of Germany, finishing in the lead with 7 hits of advantage on his followers. “The hardest five round I have ever shot since the 2008 Olympics,” Sanderson said.
The 2014 ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup in Fort Benning, GA, USA, was closed by the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men medal match, today. And it ended up in the best way for the host country, USA, thanks to two-time Olympian Keith Sanderson, who claimed Gold in front of his teammates and supporters.
The 39-year old athlete climbed upon the highest step of the podium with 33 hits in the final, beating Germany’s 2008 Olympic Bronze medallist Christian Reitz (second with 26 hits) and China’s first time participant Chen Kehan, 21, who closed the match in third with 23 hits. Following them, the two Russian teammates Vlatcheslav Kalioujnyi and Alexei Klimov placed in fourth and fifth place with 18 and 16 hits, respectively, while Kazakhstan first-time finalist Sergey Vokhmyanin ended up in sixth and last place with 9 hits.
Spotlights turned on Sanderson, who overcame off-season arm surgery to come back atop of an ISSF podium after missing for five years. He had indeed won his last world cup Gold medal in 2009, in Beijing.
“Last August I went through arm surgery, to solve a problem I had since 2010.” Sanderson explained.
“I started training my arm again last September. In order to recover I had to go through physiotherapy and physical trainings. It has been challenging: I had to re-learn how to shoot, I had to build up my routine again. Then, I have trained specifically for the final in the last weeks.”
Commenting on today’s final, sanderson said: “You’re always nervous in a final: I tried to stick to my routine, but it has been tough. My last series in the final was probably the hardest five rounds I have ever shot since the 2008 Olympic final in Beijing. Even if I was in the lead, five hits ahead of Reitz before the last series, I could still feel the pressure of the match.”
The US Pistol shooter proved to be the best, today, starting the 2014 season in the lead. And this is a crucial season: at the ISSF World Championship, in September, the first quota places for the 2016 Olympic Games will be assigned. “The scores around the world have been going up. I want to continue perform well, and we will see what happens.” Sanderson concluded.