Teenage US Shooter Wins Olympic Gold Medal
Virginia Thrasher, 19 anni, from the United States won the women’s 10m air rifle with 208.0 points at the Rio Olympic Shooting Center Saturday, claiming the very 1st Gold Medal at the 2016 Olympics.
Du Li and Yi Siling, both from China, took home the Silver and Bronze medal respectively.
Du finished with 1 point behind Ms. Thrasher, while Yi ended the event with 185.4 points.
Yi, who edged into the final with the 8h place in the qualification stage, took the lead with 63.1 points after the 1st 6 shots. Ms. Thrasher moved ahead after the 7th and 8th shot.
Daria Vdovina from Russis hit straight good shots to climb to the Top after 10 shots, but the 9.2 in the 13th shot pulled her down to end the match at the 5th place.
It was an intense match for Ms. Thrasher, Du and Yi for the Medal contention. Du kept trying to narrow the gap, but Ms. Thrasher made all her last 4 shots above 10.4 to claim the title.
The historical record was simple for the US teenager who picked up shooting at the age of 15. Her best record on international stage before the Rio Olympics is the 4th place at the ISSF World Cup in Munich earlier this year.
“It’s just an intensive feeling of pride for my country and I’m so happy to be here,” said Ms. Thrasher after the victory ceremony.
“I was just trying to shoot the best I could for my 1st Olympics experience coming without any Medal. The 1st Gold Medal for Rio 2016, for USA at 19 years old is incredible.”
It was the 4th Olympics for Du, 34 anni, who won the title at the same event 12 years ago in Athens, Greece.
“It’s really hard,” said the Silver medalist, “There were some expectations, but it is just too hard.”
It was the 3rd Olympic medal for Du, and she said she was still nervous during the competition.
“I couldn’t stop myself from looking at the standings time and again,” she added.
Defending champion Yi brought home the Bronze Medal. She collected as many as 10 ISSF World Cup medals and 1 Silver at the 2014 World Championships, but failed to become the 1st shooter in the Olympic history to win multiple Gold Medals in women’s 10m air rifle.
“So much pressure for me,” said Yi. “I have been thinking about today’s match for the last couple of days, and I tried really hard to shoot my best.”