Kim Rhode has reached new heights, which isn’t easy to do when you’re already the most decorated U.S. Olympic shooter ever and you’ve dominated your sport the past several years.
Rhode, who will turn 40 in July, won her fourth world cup gold medal in a row in women’s skeet on Friday in Changwon, South Korea, accomplishing something no woman in the history of the sport, among any of the three disciplines, has ever done before. She’s also the first shotgun athlete — man or woman — to win that many world cup gold medals in a row. Rhode has won all three 2019 world cups, as well as the September 2018 stop in Tucson, Arizona.
In securing her 24th career world cup gold, Rhode has now won 12 international medals, including 10 golds, since winning the bronze medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. That bronze was her record-tying sixth consecutive medal at the Games since making her debut in 1996.
In Changwon, Rhode missed only six targets out of 185 between qualifying and Friday’s final. She hit 57 out of 60, including her final 31 shots, in the final to beat Italy’s Diana Bacosi, who hit 54 of 60. Fellow Italian Chiara Cainero won bronze as Italy claimed the two available quota spots for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The U.S. already secured its two quota spots in women’s skeet.
Rhode, from El Monte, California, became the first American athlete, man or woman, to medal at five straight Olympic Games in an individual sport in 2012. Four years later she became the first woman ever to medal at six consecutive Games and joined Italian luger Armin Zoeggeler as the only athletes to achieve that.