USA’s Kimberly Rhode claimed the world title and an Olympic Quota place for 2012 Olympic Games, also securing precious points for the US team Olympic qualification system.
Kimberly Rhode secured the Skeet Women Gold medal at the ISSF World Championship in all shooting events in Munich, today. The American shooter hit 97 targets to claim the only title missing from her trophy case. Los Angeles’ Rhode, 31, had indeed won two Olympiads in the now discontinued Double Trap event, and placed in second at the last Olympic Games of Beijing in Skeet, but she had never made it to the highest step of an ISSF World Championship, before.
The American athlete made it into the final round with a top qualification score of 72 hits out 75 targets, tied to Slovakia’s Bartekova. During the final, while her opponents started missing, Rhode kept the pressure under control and hit all the 25 targets, ending up on the highest step of the podium with a total score of 97 hits.
“It’s great finally to win this world title in front of my parents!” Said the Rhode, who travelled to Munich followed her family “The Olympic Quota Place is also really important. We have a points system to select our US Olympic team. By winning two world cup stages and a world championship this year, I already have 55 points, I believe I have almost made it to London 2012!” There, the 31-year old American shooter will compete in her fifth consecutive Olympiads.
Silver went to China’s Wei Ning, the 2003 World Champion who had placed in second at the last ISSF World Championship edition held in Cyprus in 2009. The 27-year old shooter also shot 25 targets straight in the final, climbing up the scoreboard from the third place she had on the start list to the second step of the podium, securing her second world championship silver medal, and a quota place for her country. “It has been difficult but I was feeling great during the final” said Wei after the match “I am honoured that I won this Olympic qualification for my country, and I am looking forward to the next competitions!”
Bronze went to the qualifications’ leader Danka Bartekova of Slovakia. The 25-year old world record holder entered the final round in first place with 72 hits, but then she missed on the fourth and fifth stations, finishing in third place with a total score of 95 hits.
“The pressure tricked me today” Bartekova said after the match “But I am happy that I secured the Olympic Quota Place.”
“Of course I tried my best to win the title – continued the Slovakian shooter – but my main goal was to finish between the top-3, to grab an Olympic qualification”.
“Now the 2011 is going to be much easier. I will probably not participate in all the world cup stages.” Concluded Bartekova, who in a few days will leave to Singapore, as Youth Olympic Games Ambassador for Slovakia.
In fourth place, 2 targets far from the podium and the Olympic qualification, the Thai shooter Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit ended up with a total score of 93 hits, preceding the second American finalist Dunn (fifth with 91 hits) and the British shooter Elena Allen, sixth with 89 hits.
Teams podium mirrored the final result. The United States of America finished indeed in the lead with an overall score of 205 targets, hit throughout the competition by Rhode, Dunn and Amber English. The People’s Republic of China followed in second place, thanks to the medallist Wei Ning and her teammates Zhang Shan and Zhang Heng, who scored 204 clays. The Slovakian team, with Danka Bartekova, her sister Lenka and Monika Zemkova placed in third, securing the team’s Bronze medal with a combined score of 201 hits.