Six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode won the Skeet Women’s Final at the ISSF World Cup in Tucson, AZ. At the match Rhode, a member of the National Rifle Association of America Board of Directors, won her third ISSF gold medal of the season, following her victories in Guadalajara, Mexico, and in Changwon, South Korea.
Rhode was competing with her USA Shooting teammate Caitlin Connor, and they ended up battling right up to the last target for the coveted top spot. The two U.S. finalists tied after the final shot with a score of 55 hits out of 60 targets. First place and the gold was decided through a shoot-off, where Rhode nailed four targets, leaving Connor in second place with three hits.
In a video interview with the ISSF after the Final, Rhode said:
“To be out there with my teammate is just the best feeling ever. When you’re competing head and head, back and forth like that, it’s anyone’s game. Gold, silver… it doesn’t really matter. I couldn’t be happier for both me and my teammate.”
Her previous outings that gave her valuable experience in high-profile matches certainly helped her secure this latest gold medal win.
“Keeping cool comes from the experience, having been out there so many times,” she said, commenting on the difficult conditions she had to face during the match, with the wind peaking, the light conditions changing, and a faulty target machines that caused a couple of stops.
Having her family along for the ride gave Rhode additional reason to shoot for the gold.
“My family is here with me. Having them on the stands is incredible, especially my five-year old son Carter who was cheering me on during the whole match,” said Rhode. “It made a very nice home feeling, and that motivated me through the match.”
Rhode subsequently announced that she is training to shoot three different events at the next Olympic Games.
“I am actually training [for] Trap, the Trap Mixed Team, and Skeet events. So you may see me in some of the future world cups shooting the other events.”
There are no other international shooters that currently compete in all three events. Rhode has already proven her skills in multiple events, winning three Olympic medals in Double Trap (gold in 1996 and 2004, bronze in 2000) and three medals in Skeet (gold in 2012, silver in 2008 and bronze in 2016). In 2000 and 2004 she competed in both events, reaching the Skeet Final in Athens. And at the London 2012 Games, she shot the Women’s Trap event, closing the match in ninth place.
Read our interview with Kim Rhode after the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Photos courtesy of ISSF/Nicolo Zangirolami