Six-time U.S. Olympic medalist (also a member of the NRA Board) Kim Rhode and Matsuda Tomoyuki (Japan) have been named the 2017 Female and Male Shooters of the Year—sealing a memorable 2017 international competitive shooting sports season.
Awarded by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF); the awards were determined in accordance with the vote of the ISSF Coaches Advisory Committee, the ISSF Athletes Committee and a selected panel of media representatives. Both athletes won three World Cup medals last year, closing the year by clinching the crystal globe at the ISSF World Cup Final in New Delhi, India.
Rhode won Women’s Skeet gold medals at events in both New Delhi and Acapulco, Mexico. Additionally, she won a silver medal in Larnaka, Cyprus—hitting 56 targets in the final match of the season—securing her second consecutive ISSF seasonal title in the process. The feat also tied the Women’s Skeet World Record.
“It feels amazing! It’s been actually an incredible year for me, I worked so hard leading up to it, and it’s great to see it all come together,” said Rhode. “This is just an incredible honor, I’m super excited!”
“My goal now is to keep competing at the same level as I did in 2017…” Rhode added. “At the end of the day, making the points and getting the quota are the main goals this year.”
Matsuda Tomoyuki also shined in New Delhi—additionally pocketing the first ISSF World Cup Final title of his career a few months later. Tomoyuki set new World Records on both occasions: first scoring 240.1 points, the second with 241.8. Along with the Men’s 10 meter Air Pistol gold medal he won at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Tomoyuki won two silvers at the 2017 ISSF World Cup Series: in Munich, Germany; and Gabala, Azerbaijan, both instances in the 10 meter Men’s Air Pistol event.
“I feel honored,” commented Tomoyuki. “To win this prize is an honor, and I will keep the memory of it as one of the most valuable moments in my career as a shooter and in my life.”
Both Matsuda and Rhode—who respectively follow Niccolò Campriani (Italy) and Anna Korakaki (Greece) as winners—will be honored during the 2018 ISSF Season. Kicking-off in Guadalajara, Mexico, the first stage of the 2018 ISSF World Cup Series will begin March 1.
Here’s the top 10 male athletes in order of ranking:
1. Matsuda Tomoyuki (Japan)
2. Istvan Peni (Hungary)
3. Pavlo Korostylov (Ukraine)
4. Antonio Bailon (Spain)
5. Gabriele Rossetti (Italy)
6. Jitu Rai (India)
7. Alberto Fernandez (Spain)
8. Sergey Kamenskiy (Russia)
9. Oleh Omelchuk (Ukraine)
10. Torben Grimmel (Denmark)
And the top 10 female shooters, again in order of ranking:
1. Kim Rhode (USA)
2. Yuemei Lin (China)
3. Jessica Rossi (Italy)
4. Shi Mengyao (China)
5. Jolyn Beer (Germany)
6. Zhang Jingjing (China)
7. Dania Jo Vizzi (USA)
8. Ray Bassil (Lebanon)
9. Andrea Arsovic (Serbia)
10. Katharina Monika Jacob (USA), Penny Smith (Australia)
Photos courtesy of ISSF