Former WVU shooter goes for the Gold

Nicco Campriani, a former member of the West Virginia Rifle team has won Olympic gold in the 50m rifle 3 positions.  Campriani is representing his native country, Italy, he was born in Florence. 

He is currently ranked number 1 in the world and beat out USA shooter Matthew Emmons by eight points.  Besides winning the gold, Campriani also shot an Olympic record 1180 points.  This included 396 points in the prone position, 390 points standing and 394 points kneeling.  His final shooting score was also an Olympic record which stands at 1278.5.  Aside from winning the gold medal in this event Campriani was also able to secure a silver medal in the 10m air rifle event.  He is also the first Italian shooter to win an individual world title. 

Campriani also has some very impressive accolades to his credit including; two-time National Rifle Association All-American (NRA), he is a seven year member of the Italian shooting team, reigning air rifle world champion, and he placed 12th in the Beijing Olympics, so this gold medal shows how much he has improved in four years.  

Head Coach of the Mountaineer Rifle team, John Hammond also competed in these events, representing Great Britain in the Olympics.  He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland.  Hammond finished with 1142 points; with 395 from prone, 361 standing and 386 kneeling.  Hammond has coached the rifle team for seven years now.  So far during his time as coaching he has helped the Mountaineers achieve one national championship, three Great American Rifle Conference Championships, one undefeated season, 43 NRA All-American honors, one of these included Campriani and five Capital One Academic All-American honors.  This past season Hammond led the team to a 12-2 record.

Aside from these two competing in the same event, another current Mountaineer is also competing for Italy, in these Olympic Games.  Petra Zublasing, is competing on the women's rifle team and finished 12th in both events she has competed in.  Zublasing shouldn’t be too taken back as this is her first Olympics and there are plenty of nerves going on.  She is currently ranked 32nd in the world heading into the 10m air rifle and she ended up shooting a 396, which barely ut her behind five other shooter who shot 397 and competed in a shoot-off. 

A few days later Zublasing competed in the 50m 3 positions and finished the day with 581 points with; 192 from the prone position, 194 standing and 195 kneeling.  This was unfortunately not enough as she finished just two points shy from advancing to the final.  While it looks like she won’t be headed home with a medal, Zublasing has a lot to look forward to this upcoming season with the Mountaineers. 

Last year, she received the honor of being a NRA first team rifle All-American as well coming in second in the 2011 National Championships, to teammate Campriani and helped secure a national title for WVU.  

With Campriani done with his WVU shooting career, the future looks very bright for him and now he has plenty of time to train for the next Olympics in Rio, Brazil.  Zublasing is returning for her senior year and looks to improve upon what she did last year as she hopes to lead the Mountaineers to their 15th national shooting title.  Hammond will look to train the Mountaineers even harder this year as he too hopes to obtain another national championship.  Who knows maybe by the next Olympics all three will be receiving medals.

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