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News | Nov. 16, 2021

U.S. Army Soldier wins two Gold Medals, ‘Best Athlete of the Year’ at Rifle Competition in Poland

By Maj. Michelle Lunato U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit

2021 Olympian and U.S. Army Spc. Sagen Maddalena, a marksmanship instructor/competitive shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, claimed two Gold Medals and the ‘Best Athlete of the Year’ title at the 2021 International Shooting Sports Federation’s President’s Cup in Wroclaw, Poland.

The prestigious, invitation-only ISSF Rifle/Pistol President’s Cup is reserved for the top 12 rifle and pistol athletes in the world. Maddalena placed 5th place in Women’s 50m Three-Position Rifle at the recent Tokyo Olympics, earning her a World Ranking of 5th and therefore, a ticket to this elite competition.

Seven U.S. athletes, including two Fort Benning Soldiers/Olympians (Spc. Sagen Maddalena and Spc. Alison Weisz) debuted and represented the Nation at the November 3-10 President’s Cup.

Maddalena, a Groveland, California native, won her first Gold Medal in the individual Women’s 50m Three-Position Rifle event, beating U.S. teammate Mary Tucker and Norway’s Jeanette Hegg Duestad, who took the Silver and Bronze Medals respectively.

The Finals for the Women’s 50m Rifle event can be viewed on the ISSF YouTube page at



After that, Maddalena was paired up with Hungary’s Istvan Peni in the 50m Mixed Rifle event. The U.S. Soldier and Hungarian athlete team defeated the combined marksmanship teams from Germany/Belarus and Norway/Russian Federation, earning them the Gold Medal in this doubles event.

The Finals for the doubles event can be viewed on the ISSF YouTube page at


The dominate performance by this Fort Benning, Georgia Soldier earned Maddalena the coveted title of ‘Best Athlete of the Year’ in the 50m Rifle Category.

"I was happy with my performance and my ability to be flexible with the new Match and Final formats," said Maddalena about the overall competition. "I made a mental switch after the first qualifying round and after that, everything came together."

The ISSF Awards Ceremony can be viewed at the ISSF YouTube page at https://youtu.be/XnRI1KsC_Mk.  

Maddalena was the only U.S. athlete to earn a Gold Medal at this event.


*All associated photos are compliments of the ISSF.

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