Kim Rhode and Jeff Holguin added more hardware to their World Cup Final medal collections when they won gold and silver, respectively, at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final for Shotgun in Rome, Italy.
Rhode tied Chiara Cainero of Italy for the highest score in Women’s Skeet Qualification (71/75 targets) to earn her spot in the Semifinal. Rhode (El Monte, CA) then competed in a three-way shoot off to advance to the gold medal match—where she would best Meng Wei of China by one target, shooting a perfect 16/16 to win the gold medal. Wei— who Rhode faced off against in the bronze medal match at the Olympic Games just two months earlier—would claim silver and Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit of Thailand won the bronze. This match was Rhode’s first World Cup Final appearance since 2011 when she also won a gold medal in Women’s Skeet. Today’s medal win brings Rhode’s World Cup Final medal total to five.
“It was an incredible experience,” Rhode said. “We had some fantastic competitors out there, a lot of experience on the line. I am just very happy to be able to compete against them, and do as well as I did. I am very thankful for the day.”
In August, Rhode won the bronze in Women’s Skeet at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—bringing her medal total to six medals in six consecutive Olympic Games—on six different continents.
Holguin (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Yorba Linda, CA) qualified for the Men’s Double Trap Semifinal on a chilly morning in Rome in second place with 141/150 targets. At the conclusion of the Semifinal round, he was forced into a three-way shoot off to advance to the gold medal match where James Willett of Australia would best Holguin by one target, 28-27, to claim the gold medal. William Chetcuti of Malta would win the bronze.
“[The] World Cup Final is always a great match because you are up against the winners from the whole year,” Holguin said. “I came here to win this thing and although I came up a little bit short, I’m pleased with my performance, considering how many layers of clothing I had on in the morning and how much these targets here in Rome varied.”
The match marked Holguin’s sixth appearance in a World Cup Final, and this silver win brings his medal total to three. He won gold in 2014 and bronze in 2009.
The top athletes from the 2016 ISSF World Cup series who earned points in the four stages in Nicosia, Cyprus, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, San Marino, San Marino and Baku, Azerbaijan qualified for their slots in this World Cup Final, along with the medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games and 2015 World Cup Final title holders. Fifty-five athletes from 25 countries are competing at this World Cup Final.
Story and photos courtesy of USA Shooting.