By Brittany Nelson, USAS Public Relations & Communications Manager
SANTIAGO, CHILE (Nov. 19, 2023) – YanXiao Gong, Malibu, California, native, earns the title of 2023 Parapan American Games Champion in Mixed P3 25m Sport Pistol SH1 in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 18.
Gong was joined on the podium by the rest of the Team USA Parapan Pistol athletes. Marco De La Rosa claimed silver and Mike Tagliapietra took bronze.
“I feel content and accomplished,” said Gong, 2023 Paralympic World Champion. “I am especially grateful that I am surround by the teammates I have. Nothing beats having the stars and stripes on all three flag poles.”
Gong, who made his Parapan American Games debut in Santiago, earned his spot in the finals after finishing first overall in the qualification round where he set a new Parapan American Games qualification record. He spoke about his mindset before going into the finals.
“Even if this is a somewhat regional competition, I definitely felt the adrenaline and the excitement battling along with my teammates,” said Gong, 2020 Paralympian.
All three athletes mentioned that their Team USA podium sweep at Parapans was a great experience. During the final, athletes were knocked out one by one based on who held the lowest scores after elimination shots.
“Once I knew we got first, second, and third, I wasn’t worried anymore,” said De La Rosa. “I just smiled and thought ‘man this is awesome.’ It was a good time and fun at the end.”
Gong is adding Parapan American Champion to his long list of titles. He was most recently crowned 2023 World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) Champion in P3. He earned a total of three medals at the WSPS World Championship in Lima, Peru this past September to include a team bronze in P3. Gong earned the team bronze alongside De La Rosa, and Tagliapietra, and another bronze in P1 Men’s 10 Air Pistol.
Gong also competed in P1 Men’s 10 Air Pistol at the 2023 Pan American Games Nov.19. He won bronze in the event and Marco De La Rosa earned the championship title. Gong will compete in P4 Mixed 50m Free Pistol SH1 Nov. 20.
For official results and scores, visit: https://para.results-santiago2023.org/#/discipline/SHO/schedule/daily/2023-11-18
USA Shooting would like to thank the NRA Foundation, our platinum level sponsor, for their support to the team. Their contributions are helping our athletes top the podium at the 2023 Parapan American Games.