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Army Skeet Shooter Wins Gold Medal at World Cup

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 23, 1997 – Army Staff Sgt. James Todd Graves of Fort Benning, Ga., defeated 1996 Olympic gold medalist Ennio Falco in winning an international World Cup skeet shooting competition in Nicosia, Cypress, April 10-13.

Graves, a two-time Olympian, went into a shootout with Falco and 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Andrea Benelli after the three fired identical 146 scores in the two-day competition. Graves won the shootout by one point, edging Falco for the gold. Falco took the silver medal, while Benelli captured the bronze.

"I think it's outstanding that Todd won the gold medal -- he's capable of winning any match he shoots," said Army Marksmanship Unit shotgun coach Burl Branham. "It's great that he won over the Italians, who are the best in the world -- they're the ones to beat."

Because of his win, Graves will get an invitation to compete in the World Cup skeet finals this fall. Branham said he will be one of world's 12 best shooters competing for the world title.

The U.S. World Cup team won the team silver medal in Nicosia, finishing behind Italy. Cypress took the bronze medal. The U.S. shotgun roster includes Graves; Air Force Maj. Bill Roy of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Staff Sgt. Bret Erickson and Sgt. David Alcoriza of Benning. All are U.S. Olympians.

Other Team USA members include Capt. Dominic Graziola (Fort Hood, Texas), team captain of the Air Force international shooting team; Air Force 2nd Lt. Michael Herman, Buckley Air National Guard Base, Colo.; Army Staff Sgt. Shawn C. Dulohery, 1997 armed forces skeet champion; Army Sgts. Joetta Novinski, 1996 U.S. national trap and double trap champion, and Joseph Buffa, 1996 national skeet champion; and Pfc. Matthew T. DePuydt, a member of the 1996 junior Olympic and world championship teams.

(Courtesy U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit)

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