By Blythe Lawrence | April 28, 2018, 12:34 p.m. (ET)
Amber Hill of Great Britain (silver), Kim Rhode (gold) and Amber English (bronze) celebrate on the podium at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun on April 28, 2018 in Changwon, South Korea.

 

Kim Rhode’s world record in skeet shooting has fallen — to Kim Rhode.

The six-time Olympic medalist hit 58 out of a possible 60 targets Saturday at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea, shattering her previous world record of 56 and claiming the gold medal. This is her 35th career world cup medal.

Rhode’s record-breaking run in Changwon wasn’t exactly a shot in the dark. The 38-year-old Californian connected on 56 targets en route to winning the world cup event in Guadalajara, Mexico, last month, equalling her own world record.

But frustration in the qualification rounds in Korea, where she did not perform to her usual standard and placed fourth, threatened to derail that momentum. Though qualification results do not carry over to the final, they did make Rhode’s performance in the medal round that much more exciting — even for her.

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“Never give up!” Rhode exclaimed after the victory ceremony. “Walking out of here with a new world record wasn’t something I expected, it’s just something that happens. When I was out there, I was focusing on one target at a time, and I didn’t really know where I stood until the very end.”

Twenty-year-old Amber Hill of Great Britain, who was born a year after Rhode won her first Olympic medal at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, won silver, hitting 55 targets. In her first world cup appearance since 2016, Rhode’s teammate Amber English hit 44 to climb onto the podium for bronze, marking the third world cup medal of her career.

Rhode, the only woman to have won an individual medal at six consecutive Olympic Games, is riding a wave of success. After a bronze in skeet in Rio in 2016, she won a medal at every world cup event in 2017 before clinching her second straight World Cup Final gold to close that season. She has now medaled at the first two world cups of 2018.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.