RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. women’s trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein won her second bronze medal, eight years after winning her first at the Beijing 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She defeated Spain’s Fatima Galvez in a second shoot-off. In tough wind conditions, she managed to hit 13 of a potential 15 targets, including the decisive last target to secure the bronze.
“They are very similar as I won bronze in 2008 in a shoot-off as well,” Cogdell-Unrein said. “But I think it is different, because in 2008 I was two years into the sport. Now I have been competing for almost 10 (years), so I am a different athlete and I felt more prepared coming into these Games.”
Australia's Catherine Skinner won the gold, edging Natalie Rooney of New Zealand in the final, 12-11.
Earlier in the afternoon, Cogdell-Unrein almost earned a spot in the gold-medal match. After tying Rooney in the semifinals, she narrowly missed her target in a shoot-off to advance to the gold-medal round.
The three-time Olympian didn’t let it affect her performance as she remained focused on getting to the medal stand.
“When I missed that target to potentially put myself in the gold-medal match, I had to really re-focus my attention quickly,” she said. “I had to focus on the fact that I had a good chance for a medal.”
“I just told myself going into the second shoot-off to not rush and really take your time,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I was focused on that target.”
Cogdell-Unrein credited an improved shooting technique as the reason for her strong performance. “Over the last five years, I changed my shooting techniques maybe three or four times,” she said. “In the last year and a half, I have really been at the top of my sport. So, I felt confident coming into this and I knew if I executed, I could come away with a medal.”
The bronze medal is Cogdell-Unrein’s latest victory in Rio. In 2007, she won the bronze at the Pan American Games. Three years later, she won the gold medal at the 2010 Championship of the Americas.
Her third-place finish secured the sixth medal for the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Cogdell-Unrein said she has her sights on competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. However, with a family back home, she said she wants to take some time before making a final decision.
“I would love to stick around for another four years and try for another (Olympic) Games,” she said. “I never know where life will take me and I am going to take it one day at a time and enjoy this victory right now. I will get home and talk with my husband and coaches to see where we go from here.”
Jaylon Thompson is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.