A total of seven current or former West Virginia University rifle and track and field athletes will be representing their country in the 2012 Olympics.
West Virginia's best shot at a gold medal may be in the hands of Nicco Campriani. Campriani will compete in several rifle events for Italy. He is believed to be the favorite to win the 10m air rifle and 50m rifle 3 position. Campriani will also participate in the 50m rifle prone event. He finished 12th in air rifle in Beijing in 2008.
Campriani will join current WVU senior Petra Zublasing in shooting for Italy in the Olympics. Zublasing is shooting in her first Olympics and will compete in the 10m air rifle and 50m rifle 3 position.
Campriani will compete against WVU rifle coach Jon Hammond in these games. Hammond will shoot in the 50m rifle 3 position and the 50m rifle prone events. Hammond also competed in the 2008 Olympics for Great Britain.
Former Mountaineer Eric Uptagrafft will shoot for the United States. This is his second Olympic appearance after previously appearing in the 1996 Olympics. Uptagrafft is ranked No. 6 in the world in the 50m rifle prone.
Former Mountaineer Dave Johnson is representing WVU at the
Olympics as the USA rifle coach. He won the 1983 NCAA smallbore championship.
A pair of WVU track and field athletes may appear in the games. Sarah-Anne Brault is an alternate in the women's triathlon for Canada while Clara Grandt is an alternate for the United States women's 10,000-meter race.
Zublasing will be the first WVU athlete to compete. She will shoot in the 10m air rifle qualifications on Saturday. The finals and medal ceremony later in the day will be the first of the Olympics.
The men's 10m air rifle qualification and finals are
for Monday, July 30, and the men's 50m rifle prone will follow on
Friday, Aug. 3. The women's 50m rifle 3 position event will be held on
Saturday, Aug. 4. The rifle events will conclude on Monday, Aug. 6, with
the men's 50m rifle 3 position.
These athletes should give West Virginia University fans a little something extra to look for in London during the 2012 Summer Olympics.