Kim Rhode was golden in women’s skeet and Jeff Holguin earned a silver in men’s double trap Wednesday as U.S. shooters established themselves at the top of the medals table for the ISSF World Cup Final for Shotgun in Rome.
Rhode, whose bronze medal in Rio made her the only woman to medal at six consecutive Olympic Games, survived a three-way shoot-off in the semifinals to earn a spot in the gold-medal final. There she was perfect, hitting all 16 targets to claim the victory over China’s Wei Meng, the world’s No. 6-ranked shooter. Thailand’s Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit won the bronze medal, edging world No. 1 Diana Bacosi of Italy by one target on her home soil.
The win gives Rhode her second skeet gold at a World Cup Final and her 10th world cup win in skeet. It is her first world cup victory since taking the win at a match in Acapulco, Mexico, last year.
Holguin also emerged from a three-way shoot-off in the semifinal round to claim a chance to shoot for gold, where he faced Australia’s James Willett, who entered the match ranked No. 3 in the world. Holguin, ranked No. 22, matched Willett target for target over the first 24 clays, but missed his second clay on the next round to open the door for Willett’s victory. William Chetchuti of Malta won the bronze medal with a five-target win over Germany’s Andreas Loew.
A member of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Holguin now has a medal of each hue from a World Cup Final after taking gold in 2014 and winning bronze in 2009. The silver medalist at the 2009 world championship, he finished fourth at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Competition continues Thursday in Bologna as two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock seeks his first World Cup Final gold in men’s skeet after winning silver five times since 2005, most recently last year in Nicosia, Cyprus. Friday will feature two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein in women’s trap looking for her first World Cup Final podium finish.