Rhode and Connor Win Gold, Silver at World Cup Tucson

TUCSON, Arizona (July 12, 2018)

The USA Shooting Team opened the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup at the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club today by claiming gold and silver in the Women’s Skeet event.

Six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) claimed the 18th World Cup gold medal of her career – 30th World Cup medal overall - battling heat, delays, as well as her teammate Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) down to a shootoff.

“I had to work for that one,” a tired Rhode exclaimed as the applause began when Rhode won the shootoff, 4-3. “Going into the Final, I struggled through the first couple passes, dropping three. I knew I had my work cut out for me. From then on, I just figured out what I was doing and just kind of took it one target at a time. I think we were all fighting the heat a bit, and for me personally, I was fighting a headache too. In the end, I’m just glad it all worked out, USA took gold and silver and that’s all that matters!”

The duo entered the Final with the top two Qualification scores, with Rhode setting a Qualification World Record by hitting 122/125 targets and Connor just one target back at 121. Their strong shooting would continue to the end as the pair tied in the Final with 55/60 targets, forcing the gold/silver medal decision to a shootoff.

“We had a lot of delays, but it’s just something you have to look past - everyone’s in the same conditions. Just make the best of it. Fortunately for me, I’ve had a lot experience shooting a lot of Finals!” Rhode said. “I couldn’t have been happier to have that shootoff with my teammate Caitlin – we travel a lot, competed a lot together and we’re still good friends.”

“I think that was the longest Final ever!” Connor said. “It was really hot here in Tucson, they brought out cool towels and water for us, and we just had to stay in the moment – just had to focus on the target and have fun. Kim and I are pretty used to being in a Final together. And once you get pass not taking fourth or fifth place and you’re in that medal area, you really just have fun with it. She and I really have fun when we get in to one-and-two like this!”

Lucie Anastassiou of France won the bronze medal.

Today was not the first time this duo has occupied the top-two positions of the podium. Five of Connor’s now six silver medals have come with her finishing in second place behind Rhode. Connor became just the third female shotgun athlete in history to win six, World Cup silver medals. She’s also now the third-most winning American woman on the World Cup circuit behind Rhode with 30 World Cup medals and Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) with seven. Cogdell-Unrein will shoot the Mixed Trap Team event with Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) to close out this World Cup on Wednesday.

Rhode and Connor’s teammate Amber English (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Colorado Springs, Colorado) finished Qualification with a score of 117, just one target shy of a potential Finals berth. English won silver at the previous World Cup stage in Siggiewi, Malta.

The first day of the Men’s Skeet competition also started today with Phillip Jungman (USAMU/Caldwell, Texas) finishing the first 50 targets with 49 hits. Jungman’s USAMU teammate Dustan Taylor (Staley, North Carolina) and two-time Olympian Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) finished the day with 48 hits each. The men will shoot an additional 75 targets plus Finals tomorrow.

Complete results from the ISSF World Cup in Tucson thus far

More than 200 athletes from 41 countries are competing at the ISSF World Cup in Tucson, which concludes on July 19. For a complete schedule of events and live results, please click here. The public is welcomed to this event and is free of charge for spectators. 

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