Windy conditions and shadows made Sunday’s ISSF World Cup Shotgun women’s skeet final a challenge, but that didn’t stop Kim Rhode from reaching the top of the podium yet again in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
The six-time Olympic medalist won her second world cup gold medal of the season after a win in the opener in Acapulco, Mexico, last month and her 23rd world cup gold medal overall, hitting 53 of 60 targets, to earn the win. Chile’s Francisca Crovetto Chadid took the silver with 52 targets. Andri Eleftheriou of Cypress earned bronze with 41.
“We were having a hard time seeing the bird — I know I was struggling — but at the end of the day we all pulled through and I couldn’t be happier with the results,” Rhode said in a post-competition interview.
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The U.S. had three athletes in the six-woman final. Reigning world champion Caitlin Connor finished fourth and world bronze medalist Amber English sixth.
Rhode was perfect through 22 shots then missed two in a row. Conditions continued to make it difficult on the field, but Rhode was in the lead with 20 targets remaining. Once Eleftheriou was eliminated it came down to just Rhode and Crovetto Chadid, with Rhode in the lead at 45-43. She missed a shot in her next set, bringing them to 48-47, but both made the following five until both missed their final shot, giving Rhode the victory.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.