Ohio State air pistol shooter Katelyn Abeln earns spot in Paris Olympics

Katelyn Abeln, an Ohio State University graduate student and a proficient air pistol shooter, will represent the USA this summer in France.

Abeln, who's from Douglasville, Georgia, earned a spot on Team USA for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics and will compete in the women's 10-meter air pistol event, according to a Jan. 8 article posted on the Ohio State Buckeyes website.

From the article:

In order for USA Shooting to qualify for competition in an event at the Olympic games, an athlete must win a quota slot in the event. For Paris, USA Shooting has five out of the eight possible quotas for air gun. This past weekend, USA Shooting named Olympic team members in women's air pistol, women's air rifle and men's air rifle.

Abeln has competed in five competitions and three rounds of finals over the past three months, according to the article. She tied for second place this past weekend in 10-meter women's air pistol and won the spot on the team based on having more center shots.

In total, 170 men and 170 women will compete in shooting sports during the July-August games, according to information posted on the International Olympics Committee website. The total is slightly fewer than the 360 shooters who had competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was held in 2021.

Abeln, who graduated with her degree in public health, has helped the pistol team win three consecutive national championships, according to the Buckeyes article. Last March, she placed first in the three-event aggregate and air pistol events in addition to being an All-American.

Abeln became interested in the sport through her local 4-H club, where she started shooting BB guns and learning about firearms safety, according to information from USA Shooting. Soon afterward, her dad created an air pistol team for her and a few local youths to shoot on. The first time she shot was on a makeshift target at the back of a CrossFit gym, according to USA Shooting. She instantly was hooked.

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