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U.S. shooters begin earning Olympic berths

Michael McPhail

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Michael McPhail of USA is seen with the bronce medal after the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone Final on day six of the ISSF Shooting World Cup LOCOG Test Event for London 2012 at The Royal Artillery Barracks on April 24, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

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Michael McPhail became the first shooter named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic team on Thursday, and more will be joining him in the coming days.

McPhail, 33 and a Sgt. First Class in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, wrapped up his prone rifle berth after winning the World Cup Final in Munich.

He finished ninth in the prone rifle at the London 2012 Olympics, one spot shy of qualifying for the eight-man final.

Two-time Olympians Keith Sanderson (rapid fire pistol) and Vincent Hancock (skeet) are already mathematically qualified for their third Games in Rio and are expected to be officially named to the Olympic team on Friday (Sanderson) and later this month (Hancock).

Sanderson, 40, finished fifth in 2008 and 14th in 2012 in the rapid fire pistol.

Hancock, 26, is the two-time reigning Olympic skeet champion. Nobody has won three straight Olympic titles in the same individual shooting event.

Matt Emmons, who owns individual gold, silver and bronze medals from the last three Olympics, can earn a berth in Rio in the three positions rifle if he’s top three at the World Cup Final on Sunday.

Even more shooters can lock up spots at the World Shotgun Championships, Sept. 11-17 in Lonato, Italy, including Kim Rhode, the only American to win individual medals in five straight Olympics. Rhode, however, needs better results in the double trap than two countrywomen to have a shot at getting that spot.

Rhode and others will have more chances to make the Rio Games in later competitions.

Kim Rhode eyes sixth Olympics after difficult pregnancy, gun change

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Athletes qualified for 2016 U.S. Olympic team
Haley Anderson (Swimming) -- @SwimHaley
Gwen Jorgensen (Triathlon) – @gwenjorgensen
Michael McPhail (Shooting) --
Sean Ryan
(Swimming) -- @seanryan92
Nathan Schrimsher (Modern Pentathlon) -- @pentnate5
Sarah True (Triathlon) -- @sgroffy
Jordan Wilimovsky (Swimming) -- @j_wilimovsky
Jennifer Wu (Table Tennis)

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