BOZEMAN — The journey continues for U.S. Army Spc. and Belgrade native, Ali Weisz.
After a 14th place finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Weisz made strides to become better and more focused, qualifying yet again for the Paris 2024 Olympics after an impressive showing winning the Gold Medal and title of World Champion at the 2022 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Rifle & Pistol World Championships in Cairo, Egypt this last October.
Despite not shooting up to her standards at the Tokyo Olympics, the experience and comfort knowing she gave it literally her best shot, was satisfaction enough.
“I had such a good experience, even on the line, competing where, when I walked off the line like shot my last shot, put my gun down, I knew that I gave it everything I had that day,” Weisz said reflecting upon her first ever Olympics.
If anything, not advancing to the round of eight and ultimately the medal round gave her motivation moving forward in other competitions.
This last October on yet another big stage at the ISSF world championship and Olympic qualifier, Weisz stepped up to the line and won the gold in women’s 10m air rifle with a and a silver medal in the women’s team 10mr air rifle. Both finishes earned her an Olympic quota.
“As far as the individual medal, I knew I was capable of it, just like I knew I was capable of it back in Tokyo,” Weisz said. “I've been working really hard all year in my training, kind of working on the things that I was maybe missing just a little bit of in Tokyo.”
The team aspect might appear the same as any individual event with the only difference being the scores added up to create a team score but for Weisz, it’s a challenging event with the shift in mentality required to score well.
“I’m still just shooting a score like I normally would, but now sort of that mentality of our scores are coming together. It matters how I shoot for more than just me; it impacts them as well.”
Weisz and her U.S Army Markmanship unit as well as other Team USA hopefuls will head to Lima, Peru Nov. 4th to compete in another Olympic qualifier.
In all, the USA rifle athletes earned 10 medals and two Olympic quotas in the World Championships.