Shooter Rhode makes US history

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Shooter Rhode makes US history

World record-equalling shooter Kim Rhode earned a place in the US record books on Sunday after destroying the field to win women’s skeet gold as China fired an ominous warning to their rivals.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 29 Jul 2012, 9:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:17 PM

Thunderstorms lashed the Royal Artillery Barracks throughout the day but the American took advantage of a dry spell to put on a flawless display in the final, hitting all 25 targets to take her overall score to 99 out of 100.

Earlier, as rain hammered on the roof of one of the temporary venues in south London, China’s Guo Wenjun showed nerves of steel, coming from behind on the very last shot to successfully defend her 10m air pistol Olympic title.

Rhode’s win means she becomes America’s first individual medallist at five straight Olympics after medals at Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing.

China’s Wei Ning was a distant second, winning silver with 91 hits. Danka Bartekova of Slovakia took bronze after a shoot-off.

Rhode, 33, won golds in women’s double trap in Atlanta in 1996 and in Athens in 2004, taking bronze in the event in Sydney in 2000.

She switched to skeet full-time when women’s double trap was discontinued as an Olympic event after Athens, and grabbed silver in the discipline four years ago in Beijing.

“One got away but everyone misses every now and then,” said a delighted Rhode, who then vowed to go on and on.

“I know that I felt very comfortable in that final round and through the match and was really ready. I felt that I had done everything I could and there wasn’t anything more and I was just going to let the chips lay where they may.”

“It’s just been an incredible journey and ultimately I couldn’t be happier for bringing home the gold for the United States,” she added.

Speaking about her American first, she said: “I don’t think it’s hit me yet. I’m sure later on tonight that the record and everything that represents (will hit me). Right now I’m just focusing on my second event... and hopefully we’ll be looking at 2016. I’m not looking at this being my last Olympics.”

Rhode missed just one target out of 100, in the morning qualifying session, equalling the world record and setting a new Olympic mark.

Gold for Rhode, who will also entered in the trap, comes after flight problems forced her to miss her team’s training camp in Denmark. Her four-month-old puppy even ate her plane ticket.

Earlier, protected from the elements, China won their second shooting gold of the Games, when Guo, with her final effort, shot a 10.8, just 0.1 points short of a maximum score, drawing gasps from the packed crowd.

That meant she overhauled France’s Celine Goberville, who had led going into the last round. Goberville could only manage 8.8, putting her level on points with Athens 2004 gold-medallist Olena Kostevych of Ukraine.

In a shoot-off, Goberville recovered from her disappointment at missing gold and secured silver.

Ice-cool Guo, 28, who said her motto was, “Never give up”, maintained she always felt she had a chance of gold going into the final shot — even though she was trailing by 0.5 points.

“I just focused on doing my best on the final shot,” she said, adding: “I think everyone is good, I just never give up.”

Guo finished with a total score of 488.1, 1.5 points ahead of Goberville.

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