BEIJING, China Kim Rhode of El Monte, Calif., added to her Olympic medal tally today when she captured the silver medal in the Women's Skeet event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Rhode, who won the gold in Women's Double Trap in 1996 and 2004 as well as the bronze in 2000, also shot in the skeet event at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, but switched to skeet shooting full-time after the Women's Double Trap event was taken out of Olympic competition in 2004.
"After double trap was eliminated in 2004, it was a bittersweet win for me," said Rhode. "On one hand I won the gold, but on the other hand I knew the challenge I faced in completely switching to skeet. I couldn't be happier with winning a medal today. Gold, silver or bronze, I don't think it matters. I am just so glad to be back at the Olympics and representing my country."
Rhode claimed her silver medal after an exciting shoot-off. She went into the final tied for third place at 70 out of 75 targets with three other shooters. After hitting 23 out of 25 targets in the final, Rhode came out tied for first place at 93 targets with Italy's Chiara Cainero and Christine Brinker of Germany. In the sudden death shoot-off, Rhode
and Brinker each missed a target on their first pair, while Cainero hit both her targets, giving her the gold medal. Battling for the silver in a second shoot-off, Brinker missed one of her targets and Rhode hit both to claim the silver.
Jamie Beyerle of Lebanon, Pa., barely missed out on earning a spot on the medal podium today in the Women's 3 Position Rifle event. Beyerle entered the final with a score of 586, just three points out of first place, which was held by China's Du Li. Despite shooting an excellent final score of 100.9 and standing in second place overall going into the final shot, Beyerle fired a score of 8.7, which wasn't enough to land her on the podium and she finished in fifth place with an overall score of 686.9.
"It was a great match. I am disappointed, but to finish in fifth place isn't bad and it's really been a great experience overall shooting at the Olympics," Beyerle said.
Sandra Fong of New York, N.Y., the other U.S. shooter competing in women's 3 position and the youngest member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Shooting team, finished in 21st place with a score of 577.
Du Li hung on to win the gold medal with 690.3, while Katy Emmons of the Czech Republic, wife of U.S. shooter Matt Emmons, won her second medal of the Games, taking home the silver with a final score of 687.7. Cuba's Yaima Eglis Cruz took the bronze, finishing right behind Emmons in third place with 687.6.
Friday's competition at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall/CTF will feature the Men's 50m Prone Rifle, Men's Skeet and Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol events. Both the qualification and final round will be held in prone, while 75 targets will be shot in the skeet competition and stage 1 of the rapid fire event will be contested.
Matt Emmons of Browns Mills, N.J., the 2004 gold medalist in Men's Prone, will be competing in his first event of the 2008 Olympic Games tomorrow, vying for another spot on the podium in the prone event. Emmons had an
extremely successful 2007, winning a total of eight medals on the ISSF World Cup circuit. He captured a gold medal in the Men's 50m 3 Position Rifle event, as well as a silver in the Men's Prone Rifle event at the 2007 World Cup Final. Most recently, Emmons claimed a bronze medal in prone at the 2008 World Cup in Milan. Maj. Michael Anti of Winterville, N.C., of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in Men's 3 Position Rifle and will be competing in the prone event this time around in Beijing.
Already at the young age of 19, USAMU member Pfc. Vincent Hancock is a World Champion, Pan American Games Champion and the 2007 World Cup Italy Champion and world record holder in Men's Skeet. Hancock will be
representing the U.S. on his first Olympic team here in Beijing. Joining him will be 22-year-old Sean McLelland of Mission, Texas, who finished in second place behind Hancock at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun and will be competing in his first ever Olympic Games.