Aug. 6, 2016 10:29am Kaitlyn Schallhorn
American shooter Virginia Thrasher has won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics in the women’s 10-meter air rifle.
Thrasher shot 10.5 on her first shot of the final elimination round and smiled after 10.4 on her second shot put her comfortably ahead of China’s Li Du. Thrasher had a cumulative score of 208.0 to beat Du, a two-time gold medalist, by a point. China’s Siling Yu earned the bronze.
Virginia Thrasher of the United States competes during the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Qualification at Olympic Shooting Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
The 19-year Thrasher became the first freshman to win both individual NCAA rifle titles and helped West Virginia win the team title. She followed that by winning the U.S. Olympic Trials less than a month later, earning a trip to Rio.
American Sarah Scherer made the finals in her return to the Olympics after two back surgeries, but was eliminated in the first round. She finished eighth.