Parker, Rhode and Wallace Put USA on the Podium
GUADALAJARA, Mex. (October 21, 2011)
Four-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) added yet another gold star to her resume today at the Pan Amercian Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Rhode ran her first round with a perfect 25 targets in Women’s Skeet. The number one ranked Women’s Skeet shooter in the world continued to shine with two rounds of 24 targets for a total of 73 targets headed into the final. With a six target cushion Rhode, the first American nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team (pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee), set a new Pan American qualification and final record with 98 total targets. The silver medalist was Francisca Crovetto of Chile with 89 total targets and the bronze medalist was Gil Melisa of Argentina with 88 targets.
Rhode, who switched from Women’s Double Trap to Women’s Skeet after her original event was removed, has medaled in every major world championship in both events. Rhode’s grandmother passed away while the team was en route to Guadalajara and Rhode said, “This Pan American Games had a lot of sentimental value for me because my grandmother passed away while I was flying down here. I’d like to dedicate this medal to my grandmother because she taught me to work hard and stick with it.”
In Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position Sergeant First Class Jason Parker (Columbus, Ga.) won the gold medal in a very interesting match. Five shots into the kneeling position, Parker’s target failed—it was not properly reporting his shots. After a protest, he was moved to another firing point while the jury deliberated at what point his original target failed. Parker was awarded two additional shots and ended up with 1155 qualification points. “I was taking my time (I shot a lot of sighters), so when I got up and had to move firing points, I felt rushed because the wind was switching and I had several shots left,” added Parker. He weathered the storm and scored 94.1 points in the final for 1249.1 total points for his second Pan American medal—this time gold. Additionally, he secured the second Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position quota for Team USA. “Out on the range it was a fairly disappointing day in terms of scores, but at the end of the day, it was nice to come home with a gold medal and a quota for our country,” said Parker.
Teammate Matt Wallace (Fairbanks, Alaska) entered the final in third place with 1150 points and shot his way up for the silver medal with 97 points in the final for 1247 total points. Wallace said he prepared for the Pan Am Games by “working a lot with the USOC’s sports psychologist Peter Harberl on ‘winning ugly’ because we knew it would be a different set of conditions down here and the quota was on the line.” The bronze medalist was Brazil’s Bruno Heck with 1245 total points. The medalists were honored by the presence of the Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Larry Probst, who cheered them on during the finals and distributed medals (pictured). The shooting athletes of Team USA have continued to amaze the crowd with 15 total medals, eight gold and five quotas. The shooting events conclude tomorrow with final competition in Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Men’s Skeet and Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position.
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