Lydia Paterson’s shooting at the World Cup in Munich, Germany, earned the USA an Olympic quota spot in women’s air pistol. She finished eighth in 10 meter air pistol with a score of 386.
Paterson, who is only 18 years old, had the highest U.S. finish in this event internationally since 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft also finished eighth at the 2010 ISSF World Championship. This is also the first time USA Shooting, the U.S. governing body for Olympic shooting sports, won a quota in this event since four-time Olympian Rebecca Snyder did so in 2005 prior to the 2008 Olympic Games.
USA Shooting calls Paterson a “phenom.”
According to USA Shooting, a quota spot is essentially the entry ticket necessary for a country to compete in Olympic competition in a particular discipline. A country is allowed to earn only two quotas in women’s air pistol, and an athlete can win only one quota for her country, regardless of the discipline. Quota spots are then awarded to the next eligible athlete in the rankings. Paterson won one of the three available quotas at this World Cup. USA Shooting athletes winning Olympic quotas will still have to earn the right to compete in the Olympic Games separately.
Paterson, from Kansas City, Kansas, also won a gold-medal at the National Junior Olympic Championships last April where she shot a 388/400, breaking the previous Junior record of 386. No wonder they are calling her a phenom.