Virginia Thrasher (USA), just 19 years of age, wins the first gold medal of the Rio games by edging out Chinese veterans Du Li and Yi Siling in the Women’s 10m air rifle.
Thrasher finished the final with a score of 208, a full point ahead of Li. Yi Siling bowed out in third place at 185.4.
The West Virginia native burst onto the competitive shooting scene in 2015 when she took home five medals at the USA Shooting National Championships.
As a freshman at West Virginia University, Thrasher led the Mountaineers to their 18th NCAA team rifle championship, and also won individual titles in smallbore and air rifle.
Thrasher only got her start in shooting five years ago when she asked to join her father and brother on a hunting trip.
“They didn’t think I was going to pull the trigger,” Thrasher said. “They didn’t think I could kill a deer.”
Du Li, 2004’s gold medalist led in qualifying but could not keep pace with Thrasher, who kept her cool the whole final, only scoring under 10 on one shot.
The final standings are as follows:
1. Virginia Thrasher (USA)
2. Du Li (China)
3. Yi Siling (China)
4. Barbara Engleder (Germany)
5. Daria Vdovina (Russia)
6. Elaheh Ahmadi (Iran)
7. Snjezana Pejcic (Croatia)
8. Sarah Scherer (USA)