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Kentucky’s Mary Tucker punches another ticket to 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Mary Tucker will represent Team USA in air rifle and smallbore in Tokyo this summer
Mary Tucker will represent Team USA in air rifle and smallbore in Tokyo this summer
Mary Tucker will represent Team USA in air rifle and smallbore in Tokyo this summer(WKYT)
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 5:26 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Mary Tucker continues to impress on the national stage as she has earned another spot on USA Shooting’s 2021 Tokyo Olympics roster, qualifying in women’s smallbore on Wednesday in Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Tucker finished third in the smallbore finals Wednesday but her total score from the two qualifying matches back in 2019 combined with her scores from the matches and finals this week at Ft. Benning clinched her qualifying spot. This is the second spot Tucker has secured for this summer’s Olympics as she also qualified for air rifle last spring.

The native of Sarasota, Florida, becomes the first Kentucky rifle athlete to qualify for the Olympics in both disciplines. She will be joined in the air rifle competition in Tokyo by UK rising senior Will Shaner, who qualified with her last spring.

The 2020-21 season has been a banner year for Tucker, who most recently shined at the USA Shooting Junior Olympic Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado, earlier this month. Tucker won gold in smallbore and finished fifth in air rifle at the event.

Earlier this year, Tucker led the Wildcats to their third national championship posting the highest ever team score in the modern format at the NCAA Rifle Championships. The national championship capped an impressive season for the Wildcats that included a new school-record team score and a share of the Great America Rifle Conference Regular-Season Championship.

Tucker’s trophy case continues to grow after she won the International Shooting Sport Federation Women’s Air Rifle 10m Gold Medal in April. That win was on top of her earning the most outstanding performer honor at the NCAA Championships in March. The sophomore took home every top crown possible at the championships, winning smallbore individual gold, air rifle individual gold and the overall crown.

Tucker was tabbed the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Athlete of the Year for the second straight season this year. She also earned three top honors from the CRCA as an aggregate, smallbore and air rifle first-team All-America honoree. This is the second straight season she has earned first-team All-America honors from the CRCA.

During her sophomore season with the Wildcats, Tucker averaged 592.417 in smallbore and 597.75 in air rifle this season for an aggregate average of 1190.167. Tucker had the highest individual smallbore score in the nation this season of 597, while she was the only athlete in the nation to score 595 or higher in smallbore multiple times. In air rifle, Tucker was one of three athletes to post a perfect 600. Overall, Tucker scored a 1195 aggregate twice this season, which was the highest combined score in the nation.