Five-time Olympic shotgun medalist Kim Rhode sent a message Saturday that she is ready to add a sixth medal to her collection by taking the silver medal in women’s skeet at the ISSF World Cup, which also served as the Olympic test event for all three shooting disciplines in Rio de Janeiro. The United States took two of the top-four places in the event as Amber English finished fourth.
Ranked No. 12 in the world entering the match, Rhode faced off against Thailand’s Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit, ranked No. 2 in the world, in the final. Rhode missed her ninth target, creating an opportunity that Jiewchaloemmit was unable to take advantage of when she missed her 11th clay. Both shooters were clean the rest of the way to end the match tied at 15 apiece. Jiewchaloemmit emerged victorious in the shoot-off, edging Rhode 8-7.
With the medal, Rhode cements her spot as a medal favorite in Rio. She already has five Olympic medals in her collection and enters the 2016 Games as the reigning Olympic champion in women’s skeet. She is the only female shooter to win three Olympic gold medals, having won two in double trap (1996, 2004), and is the first American to medal at five consecutive Games in an individual sport.
Rhode must first qualify for Rio, where she hopes to join the already-qualified Morgan Craft, at next month’s Olympic Trials.
Rhode missed only two of her 16 targets in the first semifinal Saturday, advancing her to the gold medal round and leaving a threesome that included English, Jiewchaloemmit and China’s Min Lu to shoot it out for the opportunity to go for gold. Jiewchaloemmit was clean on all four targets in the shoot-off to advance, while English, hitting three of four clays, dropped into the bronze-medal match against Lu, where she lost by a score of 13-12 to finish fourth.
The 2013 national champion, English hails from a shooting family that includes two past members of the U.S. national team (father Mike and uncle Butch) and mother Ana and aunt Kim, who shot collegiately at Eastern Kentucky University. Her father Mike, also a former USA Shooting president and chief of sport performance at the U.S. Olympic Committee, passed away earlier this year.
Rhode’s silver is the second U.S. medal won at the event, joining the bronze won by Glenn Eller in men’s double trap on Tuesday.