By Brittany Nelson, USAS Public Relations & Communications Manager
SANTIAGO, CHILE (Oct. 22, 2023) –Sagen Maddalena earned the title of 2023 Pan American Games Champion in Women’s 10m Air Rifle and set a new Pan American Games finals record and qualification score record Oct. 22 in Santiago, Chile.
“During the final shot My heart rate was going about a thousand beats per min, I came down on the target and held,” said Maddalena, 2023 World Championship bronze medalist.
Maddalena, who made her Pan American Games debut in Santiago, shot a final score of 249.5, clenching gold by besting Fernanda Russo of Argentina who shot a score of 248. Russo was closely followed by Mary Tucker who placed third in the final, joining Maddalena on the podium.
“Humbly saying this, we are the best team in the world, and we have all put up some amazing scores, so this is huge,” said Maddalena, a Groveland, California, native. “I was talking to Lucas Kozeniesky before I got ready for the final and I said, ‘this is going to be a hard final, it will be tough.’ It is never walking in and just shooting. You have to put a lot of work into it.”
Tucker also made her Pan American Games debut in Santiago. Tucker, 2020 Tokyo Olympic silver medalist, qualified for the Pan American Games by winning gold at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games in Women’s 10m Air Rifle.
“This means a lot to me,” said Tucker when asked about the importance of her medal. “I was not sure what to expect coming into this but being here and seeing how much it means to all the other countries and knowing how big of a delegation the U.S. has is crazy.”
Alison Weisz, 2020 Tokyo Olympian, qualified for the final alongside Maddalena and Tucker. The entire American Women’s Air Rifle team competed in the finals, taking three of the eight slots. Weisz finished fourth overall, triumphing over Goretti Zumaya of Mexico.
Rylan Kissell earned the U.S. our third shooting medal by finishing second overall in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle. Kissel won his silver medal by ousting Christian Morales of Peru who finished third.
Kissell, a Denver, Colorado native, also qualified for the Games by winning gold at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games.
Gavin Barnick shot alongside Kissell in the final after securing his spot through the qualification round. Barnick, a Mora, Minnesota, native, finished fifth overall.
USA Shooting athletes will be competing in rifle, pistol, and shotgun events through Oct. 27. View live scores here: https://results-santiago2023.org/#/discipline/SHO/schedule/daily
Follow @USAShooting on social media for competition updates and results.