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USA Shooting Athletes Top the Podium at Baku World Cup

By Brittany Nelson, USAS Public Relations & Communications Manager

COLO SPRGS, CO (May 15, 2024)- USA Shooting athletes, Austen Smith, Dania Vizzi, and Dustan Taylor brought home some coveted hardware from the 2024 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Baku World Cup, May 1-12.

Smith, who is qualified for the Olympic games Paris 2024, topped the podium in Women’s Skeet, earning a gold medal. Smith was among the top six athletes to qualify for the final after shooting a score of 119 out of 125. Smith was in a five way tie for third place after the qualification round and won the shoot off to earn the third place bib for the finals.

Smith, of Keller Texas, earned her champion title by outshooting Martina Maruzzo, of Italy, who earned second. Smith’s victory added to her overall international medal count which is now at an impressive 23. Smith went on to compete in Mixed Team Skeet with Conner Prince at the Baku World Cup. The duo finished fourth overall. Prince will be joining Smith at the Olympic games Paris 2024 this summer.

Vizzi and Taylor took their place on the podium after winning a silver medal in Mixed Team Skeet. The duo finished first overall in the qualification round after shooting a remarkable combined score of 146 out of 150. Both athletes only dropped two targets each. The pair competed in the gold medal match where they fell just short of Chile who earned gold.

Taylor’s medal comes as no surprise as he has seen international success lately. At the 2023 Pan American games Taylor teamed up with Smith to earn bronze in Mixed Team Skeet. Taylor, of Staley, North Carolina, saw more international achievement last year when he earned gold in Men’s Skeet Team at the ISSF Rabat World Cup.

Vizzi has also been on a roll in the international realm. The Odessa, Florida, native joined her American teammate on the podium at the 2023 Pan American games by earning gold in Mixed Skeet Team with Vincent Hancock. Vizzi’s international medal count is up to a whopping 19. The 2017 World Champion is qualified for the Olympic games Paris 2024 and will be competing in Women’s Skeet as well as Mixed Team Skeet with Conner Prince.

Rachel Tozier and Aeriel Skinner made finals appearances in Women’s Trap. Tozier, who is qualified for Paris 2024, shot a 115 out of 125 landing her in a four way tie for second place. After a handful of shoot offs, her qualification round finish was third place. She went on to take fourth place in the final. Skinner, of Jackson, California, also found herself in the four way tie for second place by shooting 115 out of 125 in the qualification round. In the final Skinner finished fifth overall.

Also making finals appearances in the Baku World Cup were rifle athletes Mary Tucker and Rylan Kissell. Kissell made the Men’s 10m Air Rifle final after shooting a score of 632 in the qualification round. The Denver, Colorado, native finished seventh overall in the final. Kissell is no stranger to international success. The Alaska Fairbanks alumni earned two medals at the 2023 Pan American games and was on the 2023 ISSF World Championship team. Kissell finished second overall in Men’s Air Rifle at the U.S. Olympic Trials- shooting.

Tucker, who is qualified for Paris 2024, earned a spot in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle final by shooting a qualification score of 631.8. The Tokyo silver Olympic medalist finished fifth overall in the final. Tucker brought home her own share of medals from the 2023 Pan American games. She earned two gold medals and one bronze.

Tucker and Kissell went on to shoot in 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team at the Baku World Cup, an event that will be shot at the Olympic games Paris 2024.

With just about two months until the Olympic games Paris 2024 begin, the team is buckling down and preparing for the event of a lifetime.

View all Olympic and Paralympic games Paris 2024 qualified athletes here: https://usashooting.org/app/uploads/2024/05/Qualified-Paris-2024-1.pdf 

Follow @USAShooting on social media for updates and all the latest news as we approach the games.


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