2016 Olympics first gold medal goes to USA

Ginny Thrasher
Ginny Thrasher

American shooter Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics, pulling off an upset in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event Saturday morning.

Thrasher, 19, beat silver medalist Du Li of China in the final round with a total of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals. Du finished with 207.0.

Yi Siling of China took bronze as the first medals in Rio were awarded.

Thrasher is an NCAA champion at West Virginia competing in her first Olympics. She wasn’t the favorite coming in as Du won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Andrea Arsovic of Serbia is ranked No. 1 in the world and failed to advance to the final.

American Sarah Scherer was eighth.

The gold is the third won by the United States in women’s air rifle, the first since Nancy Napolski-Johnson won in 2000.

Thrasher, who was on her high school rifle team, will also compete in the three-position event Aug. 11. Coming into the Olympics, her best finish at a World Cup was fourth in Munich this year.

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