Kim Rhode took an important first step towards her quest to set an all time record for individual American Olympic athletes by winning the initial International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup competition in Acapulco, Mexico.
The four-time Olympic medalist Rhode, 30, started the final round in the lead with 72 hits after the qualifications, tied with Italy’s Diana Bacosi. In the final round, Rhode did not miss a single target while Bacosi missed three allowing Yu Xiumin to claim the silver medal with another perfect final round.
Rhode’s final perfect score gave her a combined total of 97 targets, one better than the Chinese silver medalist who finished with a 96. Amber English also shot a combined score of 96.
“It hasn’t been easy. My shotgun got stolen a couple of months ago. I got a new one, but of course it took me time to get used to it,” said Rhode, after the award ceremony. “It’s great to be on the highest step of the podium today, these international competitions are really important now, on the path leading to the 2012 Olympic Games.”
Xiumin tied the second American finalist Amber English who was the early leader in the World Cup and edged her in the shoot off for the silver medal. Yu, a 2006 Asian Champion, had won her last ISSF World Cup medal in 2007 in Maribor.
Amber English secured the Bronze medal, joining her teammate Rhode on the podium. The 20-year-old shooter had never won an ISSF World Cup medal before.